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    New Delhi (Sputnik): Two Indian lawyers challenged a legislative change by the federal government to deny defensive bail to any person accused of atrocities against “untouchables” or those in the lower social order. The Supreme Court ruled against such arrests, but the federal government amended the law to overcome it.

    The Supreme Court of India on Monday upheld the constitutional validity of a law as amended by the federal government that obviates the necessity of any preliminary inquiry before lodging a case against an accused.

    The federal government brought in an amendment to the SC/ST Act in 2019 to nullify the Supreme Court’s judgment, which ruled in March 2018 that there should not be any “automatic” arrests of people accused of a crime under the act. The federal government filed a review petition over the ruling after protests broke out in the country as the scheduled caste group opposed the verdict.

    The act also does not provide provision for anticipatory bail to the accused charged under it. However, the court held that pre-arrest bail can be granted sparingly and in extraordinary situations where a denial of bail would mean miscarriage of justice.

    On 20 March 2018, the Supreme Court of India ruled that no arrest could be made without prior permission from an appropriate authority in case a public servant was involved in a complaint by the untouchables, the lower caste in Indian society, and an inquiry was necessary before registration of a case. This led to huge uproar among the lower strata of society, forcing the federal government to seek a review of the earlier ruling. 

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    Court, bail, Supreme Court, caste, India
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