Day 5 Arguments

Legality of SC/ST Act Amendment

March 26th 2019

The Supreme Court did not hear the matter and adjourned it until 30th April 2019.

The Supreme Court is assessing the constitutionality of Parliament’s 2018 Amendment to the The Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989 (PoA Act). In 2018, Parliament amended the PoA Act undoing the Supreme Court’s Kashinath Mahajan judgment. In Kashinath Mahajan, the Supreme Court had introduced safeguards, in order to prevent the misuse of the PoA Act. The safeguards effectively made it more difficult for SC/ST individuals to file criminal charges under the Act.

On January 24th 2019, the Supreme Court took the unusual step of clubbing together the writ petitions challenging the 2018 Amendment with the review petitions challenging Kashinath Mahajan. Note that the scope of a review petition is much narrower than that of a Public Interest Litigation.

On January 30th 2019, the Court listed the matter for final hearing on February 19th 2019. It was subsequently listed for today, 26th March. Now, the Bench has listed the matter for 30th April 2019.