New Delhi: The Supreme Court issued a notice to the Centre on Wednesday on all the petitions challenging the constitutional validity of the Citizenship Amendment Act. A total of 60 petitions were before a bench comprising Chief Justice of India SA Bobde and Justices BR Gavai and Surya Kant.
While lawyers representing the petitioners sought a stay, it was brought to the Court’s notice that the demand had no merit as the CAA rules and guidelines have not yet been notified. The top court will hear the matter next on January 22, 2020.
The SC said, “The law is yet to be notified. It doesn’t take effect in absence of a notification. Gazette notification gives a date on which law comes into effect. So no need for stay now.”
The petitions have contended that the Act is unconstitutional and it promotes discrimination based on religion. They say the exclusion of Muslims from the Act amounts to a clear violation of Article 14 of the Constitution and also violates secularism.
The petitioners also pressed the point that there are other persecuted groups such as Rohingya in Myanmar, Ahmadiyyas in Pakistan and Tamils in Sri Lanka. However, they have not been brought under this Act, they said.
Meanwhile, Advocate Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay’s plea sought wide publication of the detailed objectives of the Act as he claimed that many people were protesting against the Act without being aware of its details.
CJI Bobde sought Attorney General KK Venugopal’s thoughts on this. The AG told the Court that the needful can be done for which a court order is not required.
After today’s hearing TMC MP Mahua Moitra, who was among the top leaders to move the SC against the act, tweeted, “Good news. Notice issued to Union of India on all petitions challenging the Citizenship Amendment Act. Next date of hearing is January 20, 2020. @KapilSibal @JaiDehadrai , Siddharth Luthra.”
— Mahua Moitra (@MahuaMoitra) December 18, 2019