Millennium Post

SC issues notices for transfer of anti-CAA pleas from different HCs to itself

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday sought stands of various petitioners, challenging the constitutional validity of the Citizenship Amendment Act before different high courts, on a plea by the Centre for transfer of their petitions to the apex court.

A bench of Chief Justice S A Bobde and justices B R Gavai and Surya Kant issued notices to all petitioners, seeking their replies, and slated the matter for further hearing on January 22 along with a slew of other anti-CAA petitions, already pending before the apex court.

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the Centre, told the court that different high courts adjudicating the same question of CAA's constitutionality may lead to the emergence of conflicting views from different high courts, eventually necessitating the apex court's intervention.

Additionally, it may also inconvenience lawyers, obliging them to rush to different high courts to attend proceedings, he pointed out.

The bench, however, said lawyers moving to different states for attending hearing in CAA matter is not its concern.

Earlier on December 18, hearing a slew of anti-CAA petitions filed before it, 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 had assented to the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2019 on December 12, turning it into an Act.

The top court had on December 18 issued notice to the Centre and sought its response by the second week of January on a batch of pleas challenging the CAA's legality.

The apex court had fixed January 22 for hearing a total of 59 anti-CAA petitions, including those filed by the Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) and Congress leader Jairam Ramesh.

The petitions challenging the constitutional validity of the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019, before the court include those filed by RJD leader Manoj Jha, Trinamool Congress MP Mahua Moitra and AIMIM leader Asaduddin Owaisi.

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