The Supreme Court on Monday upheld the constitutional validity of the SC/ST Amendment Act, 2018, and said a court could grant anticipatory bail only in cases where a prima facie case is not made out.
A bench headed by Mr. Justice Arun Mishra said a preliminary inquiry is not essential before lodging an FIR under the act and the approval of senior police officials is not needed.
Mr. Justice Ravindra Bhat, the other member of the bench, said in a concurring verdict that every citizen needed to treat fellow citizens equally and foster the concept of fraternity.
Mr. Justice Bhat said a court could quash the FIR if a prima facie case is not made out under the SC/ST Act and the liberal use of anticipatory bail would defeat the intention of Parliament.
The 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.