New Delhi: In a big blow to petitioners, the Supreme Court on Monday upheld the constitutional validity of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Amendment Act, 2018.Also Read - 'Struggle For Equality Continues,' Says Supreme Court as it Recalls SC/ST Act Order

The amendments restored the no anticipatory bail provision which was earlier struck down by the top court in March 2018. Also Read - In case accused charged under POCSO, SC/ST acts, bail plea to be decided by POCSO court: HC

Also Read - Supreme Court Once Again Refuses to Stay Amendments to SC/ST Act, Fixes Feb 19 For Hearing on Review Petitions

A three-judge bench of the top court, comprising Justices Arun Mishra, Vineet Saran and Ravindra Bhat pronounced judgement on the review petitions.

On March 20, 2018, taking note of the rampant misuse of the SC/ST Act, particularly against government servants and private individuals, the apex court had ruled that there would be no immediate arrest on any complaint filed under the law. It had also ruled that an investigation would have to be carried out before arresting an individual under the SC/ST Act.

The ruling, however, triggered outrage among the Dalit community who observed a Bharat Bandh days after the top court judgement, during which massive violence was witnessed. This prompted the Centre to file a review petition, which, too, was turned down by the court.

The protests, however, forced the Centre to bring in amendment overruling the judgement and restoring the original no anticipatory bail provision. Subsequently, The Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Amendment Bill, 2018 was passed by the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha on August 6 and 9, 2018, respectively.

Earlier, the top court had said that the new amendments to the SC/ST Act passed by Parliament cannot be stayed and had sought the Centre’s response on pleas challenging the provisions.