Supreme Court asks Centre to respond to petitions against CAA in 3 weeks

The Supreme Court gave the Centre three weeks to respond to the petitions seeking a stay on the implementation of the Citizenship (Amendment) Act rules.
Supreme Court asks Centre to respond to petitions against CAA in 3 weeks
Jaano Junction

The Centre on Tuesday sought time from the Supreme Court to file a reply to the petitions seeking a pause on the implementation of the Citizenship Amendment Act rules.

"It (CAA) does not take away citizenship of any person," Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the Centre, told a bench headed by Chief Justice DY Chandrachud.

The Solicitor General said he needed some time to respond to the applications which have sought a stay on the rules till the top court disposes of the petitions challenging the constitutional validity of the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019.

To this, Chief Justice Chandrachud granted the Centre three weeks' time and said the court will take up the matter on April 9.

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Supreme Court asks Centre to respond to petitions against CAA in 3 weeks

The top court was hearing a batch of more than 200 petitions linked to the controversial law, which was enacted on March 15, nearly four years after it was cleared by Parliament. The petitions seek a stay on the implementation of the CAA and the Citizenship Amendment Rules 2024.

Last week, Senior Advocate Kapil Sibal mentioned a plea filed by the Kerala-based Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) before the Supreme Court, saying that the Centre's move to implement the contentious law was questionable as the Lok Sabha elections are fast approaching.

The petitioners challenging the law have submitted that the CAA discriminates against Muslims on the basis of religion.

It has also been contended that such religious segregation is without any reasonable differentiation and violates the right to quality under Article 14.

Besides the IUML, some of the other petitioners include Trinamool Congress leader Mahua Moitra; Congress leader and former Union minister Jairam Ramesh; AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi; Assam Congress leader Debabrata Saikia; NGOs Rihai Manch and Citizens Against Hate, Assam Advocates Association; and some law students.

The IUML, Debabrata Saikia, Asom Jatiyatabadi Yuba Chatra Parishad (a regional student outfit), Democratic Youth Federation of India (DYFI) and the Social Democratic Party of India (SDPI) have also challenged the CAA Rules, 2024 through which the CAA was implemented.

Kerala was the first state to move the Supreme Court against the CAA in 2020, saying that it was against the provisions of the Right to Equality granted by the Indian Constitution.

It has also filed another case in the Supreme Court challenging the CAA rules.

In his plea to the Supreme Court, Owaisi said, "The evil posed by the CAA is simply not one of under-inclusion of grant of citizenship, but is very blatantly the isolation of a minority community to selectively take action against them consequential to the denial of citizenship."

The AIMIM chief said a plan is being made to target the Muslim community through the National Register of Citizens (NRC).

Throughout the case, the Centre had maintained its stand and had said it wouldn’t affect the legal, democratic or secular rights of citizens and requested the court to dismiss petitions challenging it.

On March 11, the Central government implemented the CAA five years after it was passed in Parliament in December 2019, triggering massive protests across the country and becoming a subject of intense scrutiny.

The CAA amends the Citizenship Act of 1955 to provide a fast-track pathway to Indian citizenship for migrants from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, and Pakistan who belong to Hindu, Sikh, Jain, Parsi, Buddhist, and Christian communities and who entered India on or before December 31, 2014, due to facing religious persecution in their home countries.

Source: India Today

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