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Judiciary

SC declines to stay Citizenship Amendment Act

By Jhanak Singh      19 March, 2024 05:32 PM      0 Comments
SC declines to stay Citizenship Amendment Act

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Tuesday declined to stay the rules notified on March 11, 2024 under the Citizenship Amendment Act, to grant citizenship to non Muslim migrants from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan, who entered the country by December 31, 2014.

The court refused a consider a plea to restrain the Centre from granting citizenship under the Act and rules.

Also Read - SC to hear plea for stay on CAA Rules on March 19

A bench of Chief Justice of India D Y Chandrachud and Justices J B Pardiwala and Manoj Misra said, the court was not expressing any prima facie view in the matter.

The bench issued notice to the Centre to file its response within three weeks to the applications for stay on the rules. It posted the matter for hearing on April 9.

The bench declined to consider plea by the applicants led by a number of counsel to seek a statement from Solicitor General Tushar Mehta that they would not grant citizenships till the next date of hearing.

"I am not going to make any statement," Mehta said.

The bench also said infrastructure for grant of citizenship is not yet in place.

The bench said it was giving the Union government time to file reply.

Mehta sought four weeks time to file reply in the matter.

Also Read -  IUML files plea in Supreme Court against CAA implementation

The court agreed that the matters arising out of Assam, where an exercise for National Citizenship Register has taken place,

Appearing for the petitioners, senior advocates Kapil Sibal, Indira Jaising and Vijay Hansaria asked the court to seek a statement from Mehta that no citizenship would be granted in the meantime.

They said once citizenship granted, the whole process would become irreversible and the matter would become infructuous. Under the international law, citizenship can't be taken back, Jaising said.

Mehta said under the rules, there are three tiers for processing the applications for citizenships. He also contended none of the petitioners would be prejudiced if any citizenship is granted.

Appearing for a party, advocate Nizamuddin Pasha, for a party submitted as many as 19 lakh people were kept out of NRC exercise undertaken in Assam and now, except Muslims, all those can file an application for citizenship, which can be processed.

Also Read - CAA rules have unholy nexus with NRC; to act as incentives for Muslims to change faith for citizenship, Owaisi tells SC

The petitioners also said when the court issued notice in the matter on January 22, 2020, it did not consider the question of stay as no rules were notified then.

"Notifications have been issued now on March 11 after four years. There was no question of rejecting stay earlier, when, the notice was issued on main petitions," Sibal said.

Jaising also submitted till the court heard the matter, there be should be stay.

Advocate Kaleeswaram Raj, also for a petitioner, said like the farm laws, the CAA should also be stayed by the court.

Over 10 applications including by Kerala's Indian Union Muslim League and others were to stay the implementation of Citizenship Amendment Rules, 2024.

The applicants contended the Citizenship Amendment Rules violated Article 14 of the Constitution and were unconstitutional, discriminatory, manifestly arbitrary, unreasonable and irrational.

A total of 237 petitions have been filed against the law which proposed to give citizenship to those persons who are illegal migrants belonging to Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, Parsi or Christian community from Afghanistan, Bangladesh or Pakistan and, who have already entered into India on or before December 31, 2014. 



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