SC/ST Act Amendment Bill, Which Annuls Changes Made to Atrocities Law by Supreme Court, Passed in Rajya Sabha
File Image of Rajya Sabha in session |(Photo Credits: PTI)

New Delhi, Aug 9: The Rajya Sabha on Thursday passed the amendment Bill which reverses the changes made to Scheduled Caste, Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989 by the Supreme Court.

The legislation was cleared by the Lok Sabha on Monday, which led to the quelling of Bharat Bandh being contemplated by over a dozen Dalit groups on Thursday.

The amendment Bill restores the SC/ST Act in its original form, by annulling the changes made to the law by the Supreme Court through its verdict on March 20.

The apex court order made preliminary inquiry mandatory before the registration of FIR, while also allowing the accused to seek anticipatory bail.

Dalit activists and lawmakers had marked their dissent against the top court order, claiming that it has "diluted" the law enacted to protect the SC, ST communities from atrocities by members of upper castes.

Over a dozen outfits had issued a bandh call on August 9 as the Centre had not moved an ordinance over the past four months to annul the changes made to the Atrocities law by the Supreme Court.

The All India Ambedkar Mahasabha (AIAM), which was organising the bandh, decided to defer the shutdown after the government passed the amendment Bill in the Lok Sabha on Monday.

Union Minister and top Dalit leader Ram Vilas Paswan, who had earlier threatened to join the agitation if the government fails to pass the amendment Bill, lauded the Narendra Modi government on Monday.

"This legislation has proved that the Centre is committed to the Dalit populace. I see no reason why a bandh should be called now," Paswan had said, appealing the Dalit groups to end their protest against the government.