Former Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar today slammed the NDA government at the Centre for not bringing in an ordinance to protect the interests of SCs and STs following the Supreme Court order on SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act.
The government should have engaged top lawyers and argued the case well, she told reporters here.
Referring to the March 20 ruling of the top court on the law, she alleged that the NDA government did not argue the case strongly in the Apex court.
“The government at the Centre had enough time to bring a legislation overruling this order.. But they did not do it.. After the Parliament session was over, till now the ordinance has not come,” she said.
“So I am raising a question on the sincerity of this present government at the centre as to why they have not acted when the session was on and why they have not acted and brought the ordinance,” she added.
Criticising the Telangana Rashtra Samithi-led government in the state for ‘letting down’ the disadvantaged sections, Kumar alleged that it (government) had gone back on its promise of making a Dalit as the Chief Minister of Telangana.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi had in April asserted that his government will not let the law to prevent atrocities on SCs and STs to be diluted even as opposition parties accused the Centre of failing to protect Dalit rights.
The Supreme Court had on March 20 “diluted” the provisions of the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, ruling that government servants should not be arrested without prior sanction and private citizens too, can be arrested only after an inquiry under the law.
Opposing the verdict, several Dalit organisations had called for a nationwide strike in April last in which violent incidents and blockades of roads and rail tracks were reported from several states.
Eight people were killed, including six in Madhya Pradesh and one each in Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan, during the bandh which witnessed clashes between the police and the protesters, arson and incidence of violence.