Government to issue ordinance to uphold SC, ST rights: Paswan

By V.S. Chandrasekar and Brajendranath Singh,

New Delhi : The government will issue an ordinance to uphold the rights of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes if the Supreme Court does not go back on its judgment deleting the provision of immediate arrest on complaints from Dalits, says Food Minister Ram Vilas Paswan, who asserts that the Constitution too will be amended if need be.

He acknowledged that the government had a problem of perception on the Dalit issue but felt this can be set right in no time if sufficient steps were taken.

“This anti-Dalit perception of the government can be changed in mere two days. The matter will be heard on May 3 in the court. I have said that if the court’s verdict will not be in favour (of those who demand retention of the original provisions), we (government) will go for an ordinance and that too without a change of comma and full stop in the original SC and ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act,” Paswan told IANS in an interview.

Asked whether the government will seek to nullify the court verdict if it does not change its order, he said: “Yes. We will not allow the dilution of the Act at any cost. Even a comma and full-stop will be retained as in the Act. The Act will continue in its original form. We will do whatever needed to protect the rights of SCs and STs. If need be, we will go for constitutional amendment too.”

Paswan, the Dalit face of the NDA government, has been leading a campaign in pushing the government to file a review petition in the Supreme Court against the March 20 two-bench order that a government official or a civilian cannot be immediately arrested if a FIR is filed by a person belonging to SCs and STs.

The Supreme Court had said that arrest under the Act was not mandatory and recourse to coercive action would be taken only after preliminary inquiry and sanction by the competent authority. The court said the arrest should be cleared by an official of the Superintendent of Police after a complaint is filed.

The government filed a review petition earlier this month seeking an immediate stay of the judgment but the court refused to grant any relief saying the ruling had been misunderstand.

Paswan, a key member of the Group of Ministers on the issue headed by Home Minister Rajnath Singh, said the government would adopt a similar approach on reservation in promotions in government and public sector organisations.

“We are going to do the same for reservation in promotion. In this case, the Supreme Court has not said that reservation in promotion is unconstitutional but has put three conditions of backwardness, efficiency and representation.

“All the three conditions do not apply. No one can charge any SC/ST Class I officer that he is not efficient. I have asked the AG to go to court and put forward these points. Even if the court does not agree, we will not hesitate to bring an ordinance. If need be, we will bring amendments in the constitution.”

Paswan had campaigned strongly for reservations for Other Backward Classes in the late 80s as part of the V.P. Singh government. “When I speak, the message goes that I am speaking as I am a Dalit.”

He said the government had done a lot for the SC and ST communities but the perception that should have been there in public mind was not there.

“V.P. Singh was from a royal family and an upper caste leader. But after nine months as Prime Minister the perception about him changed. There were slogans in his favour like ‘Raja Nahi Fakir Hai, Desh Ki Taqdeer Hai’. He became a leader of Dalits, poor and backward classes.

“This government is working a lot but is not able to propagate its work properly among the SC/ST communities. During the Una incident in Gujarat in 2016 (in which Dalits associated with disposing of dead cattle were lynched, the state government took action. They replaced the Chief Minister. Around 36 officials were transferred but they didn’t put these things before the public properly. If Indira Gandhi would have been there, she would had spoken loudly about it. I did this and I did that for Dalits.

“Modiji belongs to the weaker section of the society. He is from Most Backward Caste (MBC). He is also from a very poor family, economically and socially. But the kind of perception should have been there for him is not there. Just because he has a tag of being from RSS and the BJP. As a result, the perception about him is not changing. All his good work gets washed away when someone says something unwanted and unwarranted.”

Paswan said it was Mayawati who as as Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh issued an order in October 2007 against the misuse of the SC and ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act and said that police should register a case only after probing a complaint.

“It was she who weakened the Act and despite that she calls herself a Dalit leader.”

Asked why the government reacted late in filing the review petition, Paswan said: “Every department has its own style of functioning. If I get a work, I call the officials concerned and take decisions without delay… The court’s verdict came on March 20 and the review petition was filed in April due to weekend holidays and other reasons.”

He said the Law Minister should have discussed the issue in a day or two with the Attorney General. “I met the Prime Minister with other MPs over the issue. A GoM also met under Rajnath Singh where I put up my concerns.”

He said the Prime Minister told everyone clearly to file a review petition.

Paswan said the Supreme Court had “broken the teeth” of the Act. The court said the accused can get anticipatory bail before his arrest.

(V.S. Chandrasekar can be contacted at while Brajendranath Singh can be reached at


Also read-


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Related Stories

UP: Dalit woman raped before being killed, alleges husband

A Dalit woman whose dismembered body was discovered in Uttar Pradesh’s Banda district earlier this week, was allegedly raped before she was murdered, her...

Mayawati slams UP govt over attack on Dalit family

Lucknow : Bahujan Samaj Party Mayawati on Wednesday slammed the Uttar Pradesh government for attack on a Dalit family in Chillupar in Gorakhpur. In a...

Atrocities against Dalits, tribals adding to BJP’s woes in poll-bound Madhya Pradesh

Already facing high anti-incumbency due to its nearly two-decade long rule in Madhya Pradesh, back-to-back incidents of atrocities against Dalit and tribal communities seem...

Delhi Police raids Rahul Gandhi’s house over ‘Kashmiri women being sexually assaulted’ remark

In response to Rahul Gandhi's statement that "women are still being sexually harassed" during the Bharat Jodo Yatra in Srinagar, Delhi police raided his...

EU’s foreign policy chief regrets resumption of attack on Gaza, urges Israel to respect laws of war

LONDON : The EU's foreign policy chief on Saturday expressed "regret" over the resumption of Israeli attacks on the Gaza Strip, emphasizing Tel Aviv's...

As BJP leads in 3 states, INDIA bloc schedules meet to strategize for LS polls

New Delhi : Leaders of the opposition INDIA bloc will meet at Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge’s residence in Delhi on December 6 to chalk...

Student’s kin threaten Bihar school for ordering removal of hijabs inside classrooms

Sheikhpura : A government school in Bihar has received threats from family members of female students who were asked by teachers to take off...

Thousands across Europe protest Israel, demand cease-fire in Gaza

PARIS/MADRID/VIENNA/ROME : Thousands took to the streets in European capitals Saturday to protest Israeli attacks and demand a cease-fire in the Gaza Strip. Demonstrators once...

BSP MP Danish Ali challenges Ethics Committee’s “Cash-for-Query” report, calls for deletion of “unwarranted remarks”

BSP MP Danish Ali has raised objections to the upcoming report of the Lok Sabha Ethics Committee, which recommends the expulsion of Trinamool Congress...

Israeli columnist Ari Shavit predicts the fall of Israel very soon

By Latheef Farook Today Israel  is badly in need of an exit  strategy to get out of Gaza. However  not only Israel even  United States...

Muslim woman moves HC after Delhi cops ‘forcibly’ detain her without veil

New Delhi : The Delhi High Court has sought the stand of the city police on a petition by a ‘purdahnashin’ (veiled) Muslim woman...

Gaza ‘again most dangerous’ place to be child: UNICEF

WASHINGTON : The Gaza Strip is the "most dangerous place" in the world to be a child, a UN official said on Friday. "Today, Gaza...

73 Palestinian journalists killed by Israeli army in Gaza since Oct. 7: Gaza authorities

GAZA CITY, Palestine : The death toll of Palestinian journalists by the Israeli army since Oct. 7 has risen to 73, authorities in Gaza...

Delhi HC refuses to entertain pleas seeking Uniform Civil Code

New Delhi : The Delhi High Court Friday refused to entertain a batch of petitions seeking a Uniform Civil Code (UCC), saying the Supreme Court...

Unravelling the disinformation machine: How the Hamas-Israel war became a tool for pre-election fear-mongering?

By Mohd Ziyaullah Khan, Nagpur Overview  In the realm of contemporary politics, the utilisation of disinformation has become a potent tool for shaping narratives, influencing public...

Delhi Police gives NOC for holding ‘Muslim Mahapanchayat’ at Ramlila

New Delhi : The city police told the Delhi High Court on Friday they have granted permission to Mission Save Constitution, an organisation that...

Bihar teeming with illegal madrasas, mosques, says Union min, JDU hits back

Patna : Union Minister Giriraj Singh on Friday claimed that Bihar was teeming with “illegal” madrasas and mosques which posed a grave threat to...

Kolkata cops summon 12 BJP MLAs over ‘disrespect’ to National Anthem

Kolkata : Kolkata Police on Friday issued summons to 12 BJP MLAs for questioning in connection with complaints filed against them for disrespecting the National...

Israel has arrested 3,390 Palestinians in West Bank since Oct. 7: NGOs

RAMALLAH, Palestine : Israeli forces have detained 3,390 Palestinians in raids across the occupied West Bank since Oct. 7, including 260 during humanitarian pauses,...