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Daily The Hindu Editorial With Vocabulary in Detail : SC/ST Act verdict The violent aftermath

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The loss of nine lives in violent(हिंसा करनेवाला) protests against the Supreme Court ruling introducing safeguards(सुरक्षा उपायों)against misuse of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989, is tragic(दुखद/भयंकर).Clearly, both the Centre and State governments were caught unawares(अनजाने में/अचानक) by the scale and intensity(तीव्रता/मात्रा) of the protests. The government has sought an urgent review, in an attempt to dispel(दूरकरना/तितर-बितर हो जाना)the impression that its own stand was responsible for the Division Bench laying down fresh guidelines on handling complaints under the Act. From the day of the court ruling, what was a matter of concern was the nature of the message the Bench might have conveyed(पहुंचाना/सूचित करना) to marginalised and oppressed(ज़ुल्म किया हुआ/दलित) sections. Norms to safeguard the innocent against false complaints may not have been so unpalatable(कड़ा) as the serious implications of the finding that there is large-scale misuse of the SC/ST Act. Proceeding on this premise, the court ruled that the bar under Section 18 of the Act on grant of anticipatory bail was not absolute(पूर्ण/पक्का). It mandated a preliminary inquiry into complaints before an FIR can be registered and barred(वर्जित/बाधित) any immediate arrest of the accused, unless approved by a higher authority in the case of public servants or the Senior Superintendent of Police in respect of private citizens. Whether these directions amount to judicial legislation and go against the grain of prevailing(प्रचलित/विद्यमान) law and policy are complex questions that need careful judicial determination. But it is a moot question whether recent explosion of Dalit anger stems entirely(पूरी तरह/संपूर्णतया) from the fine print of the judgment. It is likely that it is a result of the perception(अनुभूति/समझना) that in a social environment  where the legal and administrative(प्रशासनिक) system is already loaded against the community, a verdict(निर्णय/विचार) like this may worsen the lot of the vulnerable(आलोचनीय/चपेट में।).

As the Bench has now agreed to hear the petition(याचिका/प्रार्थना) to review its own March 20 order, what is needed is a spell of calm and peace. It is true that the Bench has declined to suspend the order and clarified that its objective was to safeguard the innocent and that it has not diluted(पतला/मन्दित) the Act or undermined the rights of SCs and STs in any way. In a larger sense, there are two disparate factors at play — protecting the innocent against harassment(उत्पीड़न/परेशानी) and misuse of a law, and faithfully preserving the letter and spirit of a piece of legislation(क़ानून/विधि निर्माण) aimed at upholding the rights and dignity of the historically(ऐतिहासिक दृष्टि से) oppressed classes. Neither should be sacrificed for the sake of the other. Given the mood of anger and discontent, it is both pragmatic(व्यावहारिक/हस्‍तक्षेप करने वाला) and necessary for the entire question to be re-examined by the court. The first requirement for this is a conducive atmosphere for such a hearing. One hopes that the initial fury(प्रारंभिक रोष) has spent itself out and that there will be no cause for its being unleashed again.

 

Important Vocabulary

1.Tragic(दुखद/भयंकर).
Synonyms: appalling, awful, calamitous, cataclysmic, deadly
Antonyms: blessed, calming, cheerful, comforting, delightful

2.Intensity(तीव्रता/मात्रा)
Synonyms: anxiety, concentration, depth, earnestness, emotion
Antonyms: apathy, calm, calmness, ease, enervation

3.Conveyed(पहुंचाना/सूचित करना)
Synonyms: bring, send, transfer, transmit, back
Antonyms: receive, take, deny, discourage, dissuade

4.Prevailing(प्रचलित/विद्यमान)
Synonyms: current, predominant, prevalent, rampant, universal
Antonyms: limited, uncommonun, fixed, individual, minor

5.Entirely(पूरी तरह/संपूर्णतया)
Synonyms: absolutely, alone, altogether, exclusively, fully
Antonyms: inadequately, incompletely, partially, partly

6.Diluted(पतला/मन्दित)
Synonyms: adulterated, cut, dilute, impaired, impoverished
Antonyms: strong, concentrated, enriched, strengthened, thickened

7.Pragmatic(व्यावहारिक/हस्‍तक्षेप करने वाला)
Synonyms: businesslike, down-to-earth, efficient, hardheaded, logical
Antonyms: excited, impractical, inefficient, irrational, unrealistic

8.Perception(अनुभूति/समझना)
Synonyms: approach, attention, attitude, awareness, concept
Antonyms: concrete, ignorance, stupidity, thing, unconsciousness

 

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