The Narendra Modi Cabinet has decided to bring an amendment bill, which, if passed by Parliament, will turn the clock back to the original law that had provisions for an FIR without any preliminary enquiry and immediate arrest of a person.
Section 438 of CrPC states that only after preliminary enquiries find sufficient ground for lodging of an FIR, this would be done. This section did not apply to the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act till the SC judgement.
The PM said while the bill will restore the Act to its original form, the government is willing to make it even more stringent in favour of Dalits and sought suggestions from all sections in this regard.
What changes have been proposed under Amendment Bill ?
♣) The bill will make three changes to the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989 —it would
- Set aside the SC order that an FIR should be lodged only after a preliminary inquiry is conducted by a gazetted officer
- Say that no approval of a senior official would be needed for arrest
- Say that no provision of section 438 of criminal procedure court would be applicable.
♣) The amendment bill will insert section 18A that states “preliminary enquiry shall not be required for registration of an FIR against any person” or arrest, if necessary, of a person shall not require any approval.