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Centre seeks transfer of pleas challenging CAA in HCs to SC

Centre seeks transfer of pleas challenging CAA in HCs to SC

New Delhi: The Centre on Wednesday moved the Supreme Court seeking transfer of petitions challenging constitutional validity of the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) pending before different high courts to the top court.

A bench headed by Chief Justice S A Bobde said it will hear the transfer petition of the Centre on January 10.

The bench also comprising justices B R Gavai and Surya Kant said, "We are of the prima facie view that high courts should hear petitions challenging CAA and in case there is a conflict then we may look into it".

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the Centre said, there will be a problem as different high courts may take conflicting views and lawyers will be moving to different states to attend proceedings.

The top court said lawyers moving to different states for attending hearing in CAA matters is not its priority.

Mehta informed the top court that a petition will be coming before the Karnataka High Court on Thursday.

The top court said it will hear the transfer petition on Friday.

On December 18, the apex court had agreed to examine the constitutional validity of the CAA, but refused to stay its operation.

The newly amended law seeks to grant citizenship to non-Muslim 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.

The top court had then issued notice to the Centre and sought its response by the second week of January on a batch of pleas challenging the CAA.

A bench headed by Chief Justice S A Bobde had fixed a batch of 59 petitions, including those filed by the Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) and Congress leader Jairam Ramesh, for hearing on January 22.

Several petitions have been filed challenging the constitutional validity of the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019, including by RJD leader Manoj Jha, Trinamool Congress MP Mahua Moitra and AIMIM leader Asaduddin Owaisi.

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