On an interim prayer seeking a stay on CAA, CJI Bobde said, “I don't think anything (any statute) can be irreversible,” and that there will have to be a date to hear the interim prayer.

Supreme Court refuses to pass stay order on CAA to hear matter after 5 weeks
news CAA Wednesday, January 22, 2020 - 11:58

The Supreme Court on Wednesday refused to pass any interim order issuing a stay on the controversial Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA). A three-judge bench comprising Chief Justice SA Bobde, Justices Abdul Nazeer and Sanjiv Khanna was hearing a batch of 143 petitions have been filed challenging the validity of the CAA, including those filed by the Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) and Congress leader Jairam Ramesh.

Appearing for the Centre, Attorney General KK Venugopal told the three-judge bench that the government has filed response to around 60 pleas out of the 143 petitions and that Centre needed time to respond to around 80 other pleas. The bench then granted the Centre four weeks to file its reply to the fresh petitions. 

The apex court also expressed an inclination of forming a five-judge bench to hear the petitions and then list the case for further hearing. 

The CJI also decided to segregate matters pertaining to Assam and Tripura and hear them separately. The court asked senior advocate Kapil Sibal to assist the court in identifying these matters.

In response to the petition filed by the Centre seeking a transfer of all CAA petitions to the Supreme Court, the bench restrained all High Courts from passing any orders. 

The CAA seeks to grant citizenship to migrants belonging to Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Christian, Jain and Parsi communities who came to the country from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan on or before December 31, 2014. President Ram Nath Kovind gave assent to the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2019 on December 12, turning it into an Act.

Several petitions have been filed challenging the constitutional validity of the CAA, including by RJD leader Manoj Jha, Trinamool Congress MP Mahua Moitra, AIMIM leader Asaduddin Owaisi.

Several other petitioners include Muslim body Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind, All Assam Students Union (AASU), Peace Party, CPI, NGOs 'Rihai Manch' and Citizens Against Hate, advocate M L Sharma, and law students have also approached the apex court challenging the Act.

(PTI inputs)

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