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SC Declines To Stay Presidential Order Excluding Assam From 'Inner Line Permit' Area; Seeks Centre's Response

Sanya Talwar
3 Jun 2020 10:39 AM GMT
SC Declines To Stay Presidential Order Excluding Assam From
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The Supreme Court on Wednesday refused to stay the 2019 Presidential Order, whereby the State of Assam has been excluded from Inner Line Area, in light of the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), 2019.

A bench comprising Chief Justice SA Bobde, Justices AS Bopanna & Hrishikesh Roy, however issued notice on the plea and sought the Centre's response.

Senior Advocate Vikas Singh appeared for he Petitioner(s) and while relying on State Of Sikkim Vs Surendra Prasad Sharma argued that the said PO must be stayed.

CJI SA Bobde stated that an ex-parte stay would not be granted as it was imperative to hear the other side.

CJI: "We can't grant Ex-parte stay"

Singh: "But the SG is here"

CJI: "Yes, but they need time. We'll issue notice and have it after two weeks"

In light of this, the CJI SA Bobde-led bench directed the matter be listed after two weeks and sought the Union's response accordingly.

Background:

The All Tai Ahom Student's Union (ATASU) moved the Supreme Court challenging the Adaptation of Laws (Amendment) Order 2019 dated December 11, 2019.

This amended the Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulation (BEFR), 1873 vis-à-vis sectionS 6B(4) of the Citizenship Amendment Act 1955 & 3 of the CAA, 2019, insulating most parts of Assam from the Inner Line Permit (ILP) system, which in turn would have helped the State government of Assam to protect its indigenous people by not allowing migrants to intrude in the State.

However, vide the impugned Presidential Order the government has deprived the State of Assam from the applicability of Section 6B(4), that too just one day prior to the enactment of the CAA, 2019.

In the interim, the Petitioner sought that the operation of the impugned Presidential Order be stayed, so that during the pendency of the case the State Government of Assam enjoys the liberty to notify "The Inner Line" Area in Assam too so as to protect the State of Assam and its people from the grave effect of Citizenship Amendment Act, 2019.

The PIL inter alia contends that the Adaptation of Laws (Amendment) Order 2019 which restricts the applicability of Section 6B (4) of the Citizenship Amendment Act, 2019 is in sheer violation of Articles 14, 21, 29, 325, 326 and 355 and 372 (3) (a) of the Constitution of India.

"It was well known fact to the Central Government that the State of Assam is facing tremendous problem due to huge influx of illegal immigrants and under such a situation bringing Adaptation of Laws (Amendment) Order 2019 so as to deprive the State of Assam from the applicability of Section 6B (4) of the Citizenship Amendment Act, 2019 is in sheer violation of Articles 14, 21, 29, 325, 326 and 355 of the Constitution of India."

It has been contended that impugned Presidential Order, passed under Article 372 (2) of the Constitution is anyhow unconstitutional and illegal as by virtue of Article 372 (3)(a), the power of the President under Article 372 (2) has become obsolete after 1953.

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