The Supreme Court of India on Wednesday ruled that it would not grant a stay to the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) without hearing the Centre and said it might set the cases challenging the validity of the Act before a larger Constitutional bench. A bench headed by Chief Justice SA Bobde is hearing a batch of 143 pleas challenging the validity of CAA.
A three-judge bench of Chief Justice Bobde, Justice S Abdul Nazeer and Justice Sanjiv Khanna heard the pleas and announced that it will consider hearing pleas related to Assam and Tripura separately, giving the Centre two weeks to file its replies in cases relating to the two states and four weeks for all other CAA-related pleas.
The court has also asked the high courts not to entertain any pleas on CAA until the apex court finishes deciding the matter.
Swaraj India leader Yogendra Yadav tweeted his reaction to Wednesday’s verdict.
"Routine hearing, another 4 weeks. No stay or even postponement of CAA. This SC is at best a reluctant warrior in the battle to defend letter, spirit & soul of the constitution. We the People of India must continue the movement to save the Constitution that we gave to ourselves. Nothing wrong with the order. Nothing wrong in giving time to file reply. Nothing wrong in forming a constitutional bench or taking up interim relief after 4 weeks. But is this what you expect of a court tasked with defending the constitution in the face of this onslaught?" he wrote.
Indian Home Minister Amit Shah on Tuesday had asserted that he was not willing to reconsider the CAA or to modify it in any way despite worldwide protests. This prompted a stinging tweet from Congress leader Sanjay Jha.
Meanwhile, the Trinamool Congress announced on Tuesday that it was bringing a resolution against the Citizenship Amendment Act in the West Bengal Legislative Assembly on January 27, becoming the third state after Kerala and Punjab to oppose the contentious law.
Meeting on CAA in the UK
A group of Opposition MPs in the United Kingdom organised a meeting in the House of Commons complex and discussed the implications of the CAA and its impact on NRIs.
The event, hosted by east London Labour MP Stephen Timms, also covered aspects of the National Register of Citizens (NRC) and National Population Register (NPR) and expressed solidarity with the numerous protests by diaspora groups over the past few months in the UK.
Timms said that he has written to the UK Foreign Office and the Indian High Commission expressing his concern about the human rights implications of the CAA.
"I have been struck by the diversity of the people who are protesting against these measures in India in my constituency. Hindus, Muslims and Sikhs are all coming together," he said.