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New SC-ST Prevention of Atrocities Bill to be passed in Monsoon session: Rajnath


New Delhi, The Union Cabinet has given its approval to the necessary changes in the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe (Prevention of Atrocities) Act to 'restore' earlier clauses and provisions under which immediate arrest could be made against the accused. Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh told the Lok Sabha during Zero Hour on Thursday that the Cabinet meeting presided over by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in its sitting on Wednesday gave its approval to the necessary changes. Answering to the issues raised by Congress floor leader Mallikarjun Kharge, the Home Minister said, "I fail to understand why he is raising it today in the House...may be he has come to know about our cabinet decision made yesterday". Raising the issue, Mr Kharge alleged the government has not acted on the matter for last four months since March when a Supreme Court verdict had ordered virtual dilution of the previous Act, which was passed by the Lok Sabha in September 1989 during the Prime Ministership of Rajiv Gandhi. Union Food Minister Ram Vilas Paswan, who was part of the V P Singh-led National Front government, asked Mr Kharge why he was 'afraid' in taking the name of V P Singh on the matter. The Home Minister said, "We cleared the Bill in cabinet meeting on Wednesday and we will ensure that this new Bill is passed during the ongoing session itself".

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