Supreme Court will set up a five-judge bench to hear the huge number of petitions
The Supreme Court on Wednesday refused to put a stay on the CAA (Citizenship Amendment Act) without hearing the Centre. The court also said that it will set up a five-judge constitutional bench to hear a large number of petitions filed against the contentious citizenship law.
The SC bench headed by Chief Justice of India SA Bobde gave four weeks time to the centre to reply on the petitions. The bench comprising of CJI SA Bobde, Justices Sanjiv Khanna and S. Abdul Nazeer was hearing a batch of 144 pleas challenging the validity of CAA, including those filed by Congress leader Jairam Ramesh and the Indian Union Muslim League (IUML).
Petitions on CAA will be now heard SC in the fifth week from now
Attorney General KK Venugopal, appearing for the Centre, told the Bench that the government has been given copies of around 60 pleas out of 144 petitions. He said that the centre wants time to respond to pleas which have not been served on it. Supreme Court, then gave them 4 weeks time to respond. The petitions will now be heard in the fifth week from now.
Senior Advocate Kapil Sibbal requested the bench to put the operation of CAA on hold and also postpone the process of the National Population Register for now.
The top court also said that no high court will be hearing matters on the CAA until petitions are heard in Supreme Court.
The SC said that the petitions must be categorized into different sections and some may need to be heard separately as there were a huge number of petitioners and their lawyers.
The Citizenship Amendment Act seeks to grant citizenship to migrants belonging to Hindu, Sikhs, Jains, Christians, Parsis, and Buddhists communities who came to India from Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh on or before December 31, 2014.
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