While the Centre has approached the Supreme Court with a petition to review its orders that bans the immediate arrest of persons accused of committing atrocities against Dalits, at least two BJP-ruled states – Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan – have already issued formal orders to direct their police officers to strictly implement the Court’s order, which according to Dalits dilutes the law. While Chattisgarh Police also issued the formal order on April 6, it was later suspended by the state government. After issuing the circular to all the SPs, Additional Director General of Police RK Vij distanced himself from commenting on the issue.
According to a report in the Indian Express, a few days after Chattisgarh Police issued the circular; the state Chief Minister Raman Singh on Tuesday said the order stands suspended. He said that the state government is supporting the Centre and will file an appeal in Supreme Court against the order. “We have always been sensitive towards the cause of SCs & STs; however state govt, just like Centre, will appeal against the decision of Supreme Court. Till then the order (to strictly implement the Supreme Court order) by Police headquarters stands cancelled,” ANI quoted Raman Singh as saying.
Reports said that the Madhya Pradesh ADGP (Scheduled Castes) Pragya Richa Shrivastava informed police personnel about the apex court’s order and asked them to follow the guidelines. After a case was reported from Damoh district, the police headquarters were forced to issue a circular. The Rajasthan ADGP (Civil Rights), ML Lather, said that after Supreme Court’s order, his office issued a circular to all district police and commissioners for implementation of the new guidelines on SC/ST law cases, reports said.
Haryana DGP B S Sandhu said, that he has forwarded the issue to ACS (Home), requesting him to seek legal opinion on the matter as the Centre has filed a review petition in against the SC’s order. “I have only circulated the Supreme Court order on our official WhatsApp group of senior police officers. Besides that, no formal instructions have been issued,” Himachal Pradesh DGP SR Mardi said.
On the contrary, Left-ruled Kerala has become the only state to challenge Supreme Court order as it issued a separate review petition on April 14. The Kerala government urged the apex court to review the judgment and said that it has become a matter of insecurity among the Dalit community. The other states which have kept the orders on halt are Congress-ruled Punjab, Karnataka, and TMC-led West Bengal.