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'Will Hear CAA Petitions Once Violence Stops', Says CJI Bobde

Mehal Jain
9 Jan 2020 6:48 AM GMT
Will Hear CAA Petitions Once Violence Stops, Says CJI Bobde
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The Chief Justice of India S A Bobde on Thursday said that the Court will hear the petitions on Citizenship Amendment Act 2019 once the nation-wide violence stops.

The remark came when a petition seeking to declare the controversial legislation as constitutional was mentioned by Advocate Vineet Dhanda before a bench headed by CJI.

"There is so much of violence", remarked the bench, also comprising Justices B. R. Gavai and Surya Kant.

"How do we declare an Act of the Parliament as being constitutional? There is always a presumption of constitutionality! You were a law student at a point of time, you must know... For the first time, I am hearing of such a prayer! The court has to decide the validity of a law, not declare that a law is constitutional!", the bench commented.

"The nation is facing difficult times...the attempt must be to bring peace...these petitions don't help the cause", said the bench.

The plea filed by Puneet Kaur Dhanda also seeks a direction to publicize extensively through newspapers, electronic media and other means of advertisement regarding the Citizenship Amendment Act and clarify that it is not against the spirit of constitution of India and in no sense against any citizen of India

The petition also seeks an order directing the Election Commission of India to identify and take strict action against the political parties which are allegedly spreading false rumors and violence in the country in the name of the Act.

It also seeks a direction directing the State Governments implement the CAA in their respective states aggressively.

The bench later said the petition will be taken along with the other petitions against CAA.

On December 18, the Court had issued notice on nearly 60 petitions challenging the validity of the Act passed to relax conditions for citizenship to non-Muslim migrants from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan who had entered India before December 31, 2014. The petitions primarily contend that the Act violates secular character of Indian constitution by linking citizenship with religious identity. The Court had asked the Centre to submit its reply by the second week of January and posted the matter on January 22.

The country has been witnessing massive protests against the CAA. About 25 persons have been reportedly killed allegedly due to police firings in the states of UP, Assam and Karnataka. There are allegations of police violence in the universities such as JMU, AMU etc against protesting students. The Allahabad HC on Tuesday directed the National Human Rights Commission to probe the police violence in AMU. The Allahabad HC has also taken suo moto notice on a complaint of police excesses in UP during CAA protests.

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