Facing pressure from Dalit leaders within the ruling alliance as well as from the Opposition, the Centre has decided to introduce a Bill to restore the original provisions of the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989, which the Supreme Court had struck down in a March ruling.
The decision comes ahead of a planned ‘Bharat bandh’ by Dalit groups on August 9.
The Amendment Bill’s provisions were made public by Mr. Paswan, whose party had given the government an ultimatum to restore the stringent provisions by August 9. MPs from the Dalit and tribal communities — including several from the BJP and its allies — had backed the demand. Calling it a “historic decision,” Mr. Paswan said the Amendment Bill was “a slap in the face of everyone who has been criticising the Modi government as being anti-Dalit.”