New Delhi: At a time when there are rising protests over the Centre’s contentious Citizenship Amendment Act 2019, the Supreme Court will on Wednesday hear more than 140 petitions challenging or supporting the CAA.
The top court bench of Chief Justice of India (CJI) SA Bobde, Justice S Abdul Nazeer and Justice Sanjiv Khanna will hear the pleas. Notably, one of the petitions was also filed by the Central government in support of the CAA, seeking the transfer of such petitions pending before several high courts to the Apex Court.
The development comes after a number of petitions, including those by Congress MP Jairam Ramesh and Trinamool Congress MP Mahua Moitra, were filed in the Supreme Court challenging the constitutional validity of the CAA. These petitions were filed on December 13.
Earlier, other petitioners including All Assam Students Union (AASU), Peace Party, NGOs ‘Rihai Manch’ and Citizens Against Hate, advocate M L Sharma, law students had also approached the apex court challenging the CAA.
The nation is witnessing uproar over the CAA since the time the Centre has passed the CAA in both the Houses of the Parliament. There have been protests in different parts of the country against the CAA.
To counter the information being spread by the opposition, the BJP is also trying to reach out to the people to mobilise support for the CAA.
Meanwhile, the states of Kerala and Punjab have passed resolutions in their respective state assemblies against the implementation of the CAA. The CAA has also been challenged by the Kerala government in the Supreme Court.
Apart from Kerala and Punjab, the state of West Bengal has also indicated that it will not implement the CAA. However, Congress leaders Kapil Sibal and Salman Khurshid have this week said that state governments cannot legally refuse to implement the law.
The CAA, which has become the cause of concern for many states, seeks to grant citizenship to Hindus, Sikhs, Jains, Parsis, Buddhists and Christians fleeing religious persecution from Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Bangladesh and who came to India on or before December 31, 2014.