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The apex court on Thursday (Jan 24) declined to stay SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Amendment Act, 2018 saying that petitions against the amendment and review pleas against the March 20 judgment should be tagged together.

The bench comprising of Justices A K Sikri, S Abdul Nazeer and M R Shah was hearing a plea by Prithviraj Chauhan challenging the restoration of the provision permitting immediate arrest in the wake of an allegation under the Act.

The petitioners in the plea have referred the amendment as “arbitrary” by the Parliament as it overturned the top court decision to defend the innocent people from the ill-usage of the rigorous provisions of the Act.

“The government brought the amendment under influence from allies and for political mileage and its fears over antagonising massive vote-bank ahead of 2019 Lok Sabha elections,” the petitioners said in the plea.

—India Legal Bureau

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