Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Friday that his government will not allow dilution of SC-ST Act and special courts are being formed for speedy trial in cases of atrocities with the two communities. Modi, who inaugurated Dr. Ambedkar National Memorial at Alipur Road here, said the his government had strengthened the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe (Protection of Atrocities Act) in 2015 by increasing the number of atrocities covered under it from 22 to 47.
Refuting allegations of Congress and some other parties that the government was trying to dilute the Act and had not represented the case properly in Supreme Court, he said the government filed a review petition within 12 days of the court verdict. "I, on this occasion, want to assure the country that the law which was strengthened by our government, we will not allow it to be impacted," Modi said.
The Supreme Court had earlier this month declined to stay its ruling, which Dalits say has diluted a law aimed at preventing atrocities on them and tribes, asserting that it wanted to protect innocent people from being punished. The bench said this on a plea by the Centre seeking recall of its March 20 order where the apex court had said that no arrest would be affected on a complaint under the Act without an inquiry.
Modi, in speech, also sought to reach out to backward classes apart from Dalits, saying his government has also decided to form a commission for sub-categorisation of backward castes. The Prime Minister said the government has made efforts to create social balance through legislation.
He said Ambedkar had hoped that governments will run according to the Constitution without any discrimination and equality had been core of his thinking. "The effort to ensure social justice and equity will be visible in every scheme of the government. The schemes are seeking to remove the imbalance of the past decades," he said.
Modi also said the government had got the opportunity to develop five significant places linked to Ambedkar's life as "panch tirath". "From today this memorial will be a landmark not only on the map of Delhi but the country," he said. Modi said the New India vision of his government was in accordance with the the dreams of Ambedkar. He also recalled efforts of his government to propagate memory of Ambedkar, the architect of the Constitution, saying stamp and coin was released on his anniversary, the Republic Day Parade had a tableau on him and students had been sent to places where he studied.
Dr. Ambedkar Mahaparinirvana Sthal at 26, Alipur Road, was dedicated to the nation by former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee in December 2003.
Modi had laid the foundation stone of the memorial on March 21, 2016. The memorial has been given the shape of a book. The museum at the memorial intends to create an immersive experience into the life of Ambedkar and his contributions through extensive use of static media, dynamic media, audio-visual content, and multimedia technologies. The memorial has a meditation hall, a Bodhi Tree, a musical fountain and facade lighting.