Bhaskar Gaikwad, the original complainant in the SC/ST case over which a nationwide bandh was organised on Monday, had never thought that his legal fight would attain such a huge political connotation.
Dalit activist and supporters hold placards and raise slogans during a protest march against the alleged dilution of SC/ST Act in Mumbai on Monday. Photograph: Mitesh Bhuvad/PTI Photo
The 53-year employee of a government college in Pune said that irrespective of the central government's move, he was planning to file by April 19 a review petition in the Supreme Court against its March 20 order which is seen as diluting the SC/ST Act.
The central government on Monday filed a review petition in the apex court amidst a violent agitation over the judgment across the country.
Distancing himself from the Union government's review petition, Gaikwad told PTI over phone that ever since the ruling came in which he is a respondent, he was planning to file a review petition within the stipulated time of one month.
He refused to comment on the political connotation that the issue has acquired.
The opposition parties are attacking the Narendra Modi government over the apex court judgment.
"I am a government servant. So, I cannot say anything on the political aspect. I don't see these developments politically," Gaikwad said.
According to Gaikwad, the case which reached the Supreme Court originated from his complaint filed in 2007.
In his complaint, the store keeper in a Pharmacy college at Karad had alleged that he was asked to forge some documents by the seniors.
"When I refused to do so (forging), the upper caste people of the college wrote negative remarks in my confidential report," Gaikwad claimed.
"In September, 2009, I lodged a complaint with joint director of Technical Education in Maharashtra government Subhash Mahajan," he said.
According to Gaikwad, he got no help from Mahajan and subsequently he filed a complaint against the joint director himself.
Mahajan then moved the court seeking quashing of a first information report against him, Gaikwad said.
"Though, the state government machinary fully supported Mahajan during the hearing in the high court, he got no reprieve there," Gaikwad said.
Mahajan then approached the Supreme Court which gave its verdict on March 20, ruling that the government servants should not be arrested without prior sanction and private citizens, too, be arrested only after an inquiry under the law.
"The state government did not support me during the hearing," Gaikwad said.
Referring to the March 20 judgment in which he is a respondent, Gaikwad said he has no right to comment on the merits of the court's ruling but he has all the right to file a review petition.
"I am already discussing the issue of filing a review petition with my advocate and I will do it for sure by April 19," he added.
"The verdict came in Mahajan's favour because the Maharashtra government machinery supported him. Neither did the Maharashtra government take any decision to file charge-
sheet against Mahajan for over one year, nor it gave me legal support to fight my case under the provisions of the SC/SC Act," Gaikwad said.
When contacted, Mahajan refused to speak on the issue.
"You write whatever you want. I will put forth my side as and when required," he said.