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Storm over SC/ST rights; Apex court hearing on next Friday


New Delhi, Attorney General K K Venugopal, representing the Centre, on Friday mentioned the SC/ ST judgement matter, seeking a review of the March 20 judgement delivered by a division bench of the Supreme Court. The judgement had kicked up a storm with fears that the safeguards of the rights of Scheduled Castes community were in peril.The apex court ruled that the matter would be heard on May 4, at 1400 hrs. In its earlier judgement, the Supreme Court had held that a state government official cannot be automatically arrested on a complaint filed under the Act and the sanction of an appointing authority was essential before such a step was taken against a public servant. The apex court had held that there was no absolute bar for granting the anticipatory bail in atrocities matter.A division bench, led by Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel, had delivered the March 20 verdict.The AG sought an urgent hearing into the matter. The apex court had said that the preliminary investigation by police is a must now and a sanction by the competent authority will be required in cases against public servants. A public servant can be arrested after grant of approval by the superior officer. In case of registration of any offence, the DSP shall conduct a preliminary inquiry, the bench had said in its judgement. Today, the AG mentioned the matter before a division bench, headed by Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel and also comprising Justice Deepak Gupta, which held, ' We would hear the matter on May 4, at 1400 hrs.'

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