No Stay on Citizenship Amendment Act without hearing the government, says SC
On Wednesday, The Supreme Court said that the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), 2019, is “upmost in everyone’s mind,” however expects to hear the government first.
A three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice of India (CJI) Sharad A. Bobde didn’t give heed to pleas even to delay the population data collection process to identify illegal migrants or “doubtful citizens” according to their religion, Times of India reported.
The CJI stated that the CAA challenge might be assigned to a Constitution Bench for a ruling on merits.
The Bench gave notice on 80 fresh petitions filed for and against the CAA. 4 weeks are giving to the government to file their response. The administration requested the Court to “freeze” the number of petitions documented for the same.
A total of 144 petitions were recorded before the Bench that likewise contained Justices Sanjiv Khanna and S. Abdul Nazeer.
The SC stated it would list the case in February to give interim orders. It asked the senior legal counselors associated with the case to sort the petitions and work out a calendar for hearing them.
“I don’t think anything [or law like the CAA] is irreversible. There should be a date decided for hearing this petition [for a stay of the CAA)… This case is highest in everyone’s thoughts,” the CJI responded to the concerns.
Legal advisors contended that the National Population Register (NPR) practice is beginning in April. Information gathered through it would be utilized for setting up an across the country National Register of Citizens (NRC). The NPR-NRC is viewed as a harbinger of facilitator for the activity of the CAA, which quickly tracks the citizenship-by-naturalization process for “illicit transients” from six strict networks, other than Muslims, who have fled oppression from Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Bangladesh.
Senior SC lawyer Kapil Sibal requested the Court to defer the NPR and the citizenship procedure for two months to avoid confusion, The Times of India reported.
Attorney General K.K. Venugopal responded that “a delay of the CAA and its stay, both are the same things.”
Senior supporter Shyam Divan battled that the final document of citizenship by naturalization to illegal immigrants should remain during the case is pending in the Court. Indian citizenship once conceded can’t be repudiated if the CAA trial is succeeded in Court, he stated.
However, Venugopal opposed that there were facilities in the law that permitted the revocation of citizenship.
According to reports by The Times of India, the CJI explained that the Court would give due importance to petitions concerning the effect of CAA in States, for example, Assam and Tripura. All these cases will be addressed separately. He added that all the appeals on the CAA would be dependent upon a collective final decision.
Senior lawyer Vikas Singh stated that the CAA would change and impact the whole demography of Assam. The Assam Accord of 1985 was violated by the CAA, as it specified that any outsider who entered the State after the cut-off date of March 24, 1971, regardless of their religious affiliation, would be deported. The cut-off date mentioned in the CAA is December 31, 2014.
The legislature continues to maintain that the alterations made to the Citizenship Act of 1955 were intended to protect and welcome the religiously oppressed people leaving the three neighboring nations where Muslims majority is significant.
The petitions contended that a law that invited “illicit migrants” into India specifically based on their religion was against the standards of secularism and the Constitution of India. The SC disapproves of stay on NRC and CAA without hearing the legislatures take on it.
Article Credit: The Times of India, The Mint