The Supreme Court upheld the constitutional validity of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Amendment Act 2018.
A three-judge bench, headed by Justice Arun Mishra, upheld the amended Act, which said neither is a preliminary inquiry required before lodging an FIR under the Act nor is approval needed from higher authorities for arrests.
The amendment also restores the unconditional ban on the grant of anticipatory bail put in place by the March 2018 judgement of the apex court.
However, the judgment held that the courts can quash FIRs where prima facie a case is not made out but under exceptional circumstances.
The top court’s verdict came on a batch of PILs challenging the validity of the SC/ST Amendment Act of 2018, which was brought to nullify the effect of the apex court’s 2018 ruling, which had diluted the provisions of the stringent Act and said that there would be no immediate arrest on any complaint filed under the law.