SC to hear over 140 pleas challenging CAA on Wednesday

Elias Hubbard
January 22, 2020

SC to set up a five-judge Constitution bench to hear pleas on CAA and also directed all High Courts from not hearing pleas on CAA till it decides petitions.

The Kerala government has also moved the Supreme Court against the CAA, stating that the act violates "Articles 14, 21, and 25 of the Constitution of India".

During the hearing, Attorney General KK Venugopal arguing for the Centre said the government had been given copies of only 60 of 143 pleas and hence required more time to respond.

Trinamool Congress MP Mahua Moitra, AIMIM leader Asaduddin Owaisi, RJD leader Manoj Jha, Muslim body Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind, All Assam Students Union (AASU), Peace Party, CPI, NGOs "Rihai Manch" and Citizens Against Hate are among the several parties that have filed petitions challenging the constitutional validity of the Citizenship Amendment Act.

Petitions linked to Assam and Tripura will be taken up separately as the problem with CAA in these two states is different from rest of the country, said the three judges. He requested time to respond to the rest. Senior advocates AM Singhvi and Kapil Sibal appearing for the petitioners requested the court to put on hold operation of CAA and postpone the exercise of National Population Register (NPR) for a few months.

According to the amended citizenship law, members of Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, Parsi and Christian communities who came from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan till December 31, 2014 and facing religious persecution there will not be treated as illegal immigrants and will be eligible for Indian citizenship.

Critics say the law passed in December is discriminatory to Muslims - India's largest minority - as it makes faith the basis for obtaining citizenship.

The top court had said earlier that it would hear the challenges to the law "once the violence stops", referring to incidents of violence during the protests.

On January 9, the Supreme Court had refused to rule on a plea that the citizenship law be declared "constitutional", saying the country is "going through hard times" and the endeavour should be for peace.

The fraternity of the north-eastern universities, in a statement on Tuesday, hoped the Supreme Court will address the "unconstitutional and contentious CAA and its ill repercussions" on the indigenous people in the northeast.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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