[Breaking] CAA Challenge : SC Grants Four Weeks Time To Centre For Reply
Update: 2020-01-22 06:03 GMT
The Supreme Court on Wednesday granted four weeks time to the Central Government to respond to about 140 writ petitions which challenge the constitutional validity of the controversial Citizenship Amendment Act 2019.
The bench comprising CJI SA Bobde, Justices Abdul Nazeer and Sanjiv Khanna has also issued notices on all petitions. The matter will be listed after five weeks.
Though some of the parties urged the Court to postpone the implementation of the process under the Act in the meantime, the bench did not pass any order granting such relief.
Chief Justice of India SA Bobde orally remarked that no ex-parte order can be passed as Centre had no notice on all petitions.
The bench also agreed to consider the petitions from Assam and Tripura separately, having regard to the special grounds urged in those cases.
Attorney General K K Venugopal sought for more time citing the need to file reply to 80 additional petitions, which were filed after the Court had earlier issued notice on 60 petitions on December 18.
The top court has also restrained the High Courts from dealing with the matter.
Senior Advocate Kapil Sibal sought for an order keeping in abeyance the NPR process for at least three months, pointing out that the NPR is scheduled to begin in April.
Senior Advocate Vikas Singh sought for an interim order citing that the Act violated Assam accord.
“In Assam there is a unique problem because of Bangladesh. Earlier the date was 1950, then it was extended to 1971. The extension is challenged before this court. It’s referred to larger bench”, Singh said.
The Attorney General urged the Court to treat Assam petitions separately. The AG also informed that the Assam NRC will not become operative until the final list is published by the Registrar General of India.
Senior Adv K V Vishwanathan submitted that if any person is marked as ‘doubtful citizen’ during the NPR process, it will lead to problems. Not just Muslims, but Hindus also will get affected, he submitted. Therefore, he sought for postponement of the implementation of the Act. He said that postponement of the implementation is not the same as staying the Act.
Disagreeing with this line of submission, the CJI observed that the effect is the same, even though the words are different.
Senior Adv A M Singhvi said that the Uttar Pradesh government had started the CAA process even without the Rules being framed.
“Without any rules being framed, 40 Lakh people have been marked doubtful. This has happened in 19 districts of UP. Their right to vote will be lost. Kindly stay the process. That’s our prayer. This will prevent a lot of chaos and insecurity”, he said.