Wednesday, the Supreme Court refused to stay the contentious Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) until it heard the appeal from the Center and indicated that a five-judge constitutional bench would be set up to hear the case. A three-judge bench headed by CJI S A Bobde, who was hearing a batch of 143 pleas, granted four weeks to respond to the Centre. It also barred all high courts in India from hearing any other CAA-related appeals until it ruled on petitions.
Attorney General KK Venugopal arguing on behalf of the Center during the hearing said copies of only 60 of 143 pleas had been given to the government and therefore it required more time to answer. CJI Bobde said that the court could refer the matter to a Bench of the Constitution. Senior advocates AM Singhvi, Kapil Sibal appearing for the petitioners asked the court to place the CAA operation on hold and for the time being postpone the NPR exercise.
The petitions contend that CAA stands against the basic structure of the Constitution and is illegal. Some of the petitions have also sought the legislation that came into force on January 10 be withdrawn. Petitioners include Congress MP Jairam Ramesh, the Indian Union Muslim League, and its MPs, Lok Sabha MP and AIMIM president Aladdin Owaisi, TMC MP Mahua Moitra, All Assam Students’ Union and Tripura royal scion Pradyot Kishore Deb Barman.
CAA in SC: Assam, Tripura petitions to be heard separately
The bench said it will hear petitions pertaining to Assam and Tripura separately as the problem with CAA in these two states is different from the rest of the country. "The petitions concerning Assam and Tripura as well as matters related to Uttar Pradesh, which is going ahead with the implementation of CAA without framing any rules, can be dealt with separately," the court said.
Updated by: News Sources 2020-01-22 12:35 PM