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The Supreme Court today took note of the rampant misuse of the stringent Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act against government servants and held that there shall be no immediate arrest on any complaint filed under the law.

Before arresting a public servant under the SC/ST Act, a preliminary probe by an officer not below the rank of deputy superintendent is a must, the court said.

A bench of Justices Adarsh Goel and U U Lalit said there shall be no absolute bar for granting anticipatory bail to public servants booked under the stringent provisions of the law.

The bench, which passed a slew of directions, said a public servant can be arrested in cases lodged under SC/ST Act only after prior approval by the competent authority.


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