The Supreme Court has scheduled the hearing on nearly 200 petitions challenging the constitutional validity of the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) on September 12.
A bench headed by Chief Justice U.U. Lalit and S. Ravindra Bhat is scheduled to hear the petitions on Monday. In December 2019, the apex court had declined to stay the operation of the law and issued a notice to the Centre on the petitions against the Act.
The top court had then sought response from the Centre in January 2020. However, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the matter could not come up for regular hearing before the court.
Then President Ram Nath Kovind had given assent to the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2019 on December 12, 2019, and turned it into an Act. The petitions alleged the Bill was against the basic structure of the Constitution.
The amended law seeks to grant citizenship to non-Muslim migrants belonging to Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Christian, Jain and Parsi communities who had come to India from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan on or before December 31, 2014.
The Indian Union Muslim League (IUML), one of the petitioners against the Act, claimed that the fundamental Right to Equality is violated by the Act and it intends to grant citizenship to a section of illegal immigrants by making an exclusion based on religion.
The plea filed by Congress leader Jairam Ramesh argued the Act is a “brazen attack” on the core fundamental rights envisaged under the Constitution.