20 May 2020 1:31 PM GMT
The Supreme Court on Wednesday issued notice on a batch of petitions challenging the constitutional validity of of Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019 (CAA).A bench comprising Chief Justice SA Bobde and Justices AS Bopanna & Hrishikesh Roy while issuing notice to the batch of petitions, tagged them along with the other 160 petitions pending considering before the top Court.Advocate...
The Supreme Court on Wednesday issued notice on a batch of petitions challenging the constitutional validity of of Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019 (CAA).
A bench comprising Chief Justice SA Bobde and Justices AS Bopanna & Hrishikesh Roy while issuing notice to the batch of petitions, tagged them along with the other 160 petitions pending considering before the top Court.
Advocate appearing for All Assam Law Student's Union & Muslim Student's Federation prayed for an interim order so as to counteract the conflict between provisions of the CAA & the Assam Accord of 1956.
However, bench refused to grant an interim protection and instead issued notice.
This is the first time CAA petitions challenging aspects of the Act's Constitutionality have been listed, since imposition of the Coronavirus-induced Lockdown.
The instant pleas had been filed earlier in the year in February 2020 but came to be listed before the Supreme Court now, owing to the lockdown situation and restricted functioning of the Court.
The fresh petitions have been filed by by Tamil Nadu Thowheed Jamath, Shalim Muslim Students Federation Assam, one 'Sachin Yadav' & All Assam Students Union.
On December 18, the SC had issued notice to centre on 60 petitions. Since the Act was yet to be notified then, the petitioners had not pressed for stay.
Later, the Act was brought into force by notification on January 10. Indian Union Muslim League, one of the petitioners, had filed an application seeking stay of this notification, and seeking clarification on whether NRC will be carried out nationwide.
On March 17, the Central Government filed counter-affidavit stating that the classification under CAA was reasonable and constitutional.
The Petitions contended that the Act, which liberalises and fast-tracks grant of citizenship to non-Muslim migrants from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan, promotes religion-based discrimination.
As per the petitions, a purely religious classification, devoid of any determining principle, violates the fundamental constitutional value of secularism and Article 14 of the Constitution. The exclusion of Muslims from the Act amounts to unreasonable classification but also violates secularism, which is a basic structure of the Constitution.
The petitioners have highlighted that similarly situated persecuted groups such as Ahmadiyyas of Pakistan, Rohingyas of Myanmar, Tamils of Sri Lanka etc are not brought under the purview of the Act. This leads to unequal treatment of equals. The exclusion is purely linked to religion, and hence it is an impermissible classification under Article 14. The petitioners further state that associating citizenship with religious identity shakes the secular foundation of Indian Republic.
Some of the Assam-based petitioners argue that the Act violates Assam Accord of 1986. As per the 1985 Accord, all those who had entered Assam from Bangladesh after March 24, 1971 are treated as illegal migrants. The Accord was entered following years of agitations led by Assam groups demanding expulsion of illegal migrants from the State.
The petitioners argue that the CAA - which makes non-Muslim migrants from Bangladesh who had entered India before December 31, 2014 eligible for Indian citizenship - dilutes the Assam Accord.
"The result of the impugned Act will be that a large number of non-Indians, who have surreptitiously entered Assam after 25.03.1971, without possession of valid passport, travel documents or other lawful authority to do so, will be able to take citizenship and reside therein", stated All Assam Students Union in their petition.
There are also some petitions which challenge the NPR notification and the proposed nation-wide NRC.
Indian Union Muslim League and its four MPs, TMC MP Mahua Moitra, Congress MP Jairam Ramesh, Peace Party of India, Jan Adhikar Party, a former Indian Ambassador along with two retired IAS officers, All Assam Students Union, Assam Leader of Opposition Debabrata Saikia, Citizens Against Hate, Rihai Manch, Lok Sabha MP Asaduddin Owaisi, Kerala MLA T N Prathapan, "Makkal Needhi Maiam" of Kamal Hassan, United Against Hate, Tripura leader Pradyut Deb Barman, Assam Gana Parishad, Kerala Leader of Opposition Ramesh Chennithala, DYFI, DMK , civil rights activists Harsh Mander, Irfan Habib, Nikhil Dey & Prabhat Patnaik, Assam Jamait Ulema -E-Hind, Rajya Sabha MP Manoj Kumar Jha, Students Federation of India, etc., are some of the petitioners.
Click Here To Download Petition By Tamil Nadu Thoweed Jamath
Click Here To Download Petition By Muslim Students Federation
Click Here To Download Petition by Sachin Yadav