SC: Four more petitions filed against CAA, notices issued

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Another batch of petitions has been filed at the Supreme Court against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA). The debate and the protests around CAA had taken a back seat ever since COVID19 became the central issue in the country. The discourse around CAA was the hot topic since December 2019 and was at its peak when COVID19 took over, causing a health crisis in the country. There were as many as 160 petitions before the apex court against the constitutional validity of the CAA and these new batch of petitions have also been tagged with them.

This is the first time since the lockdown in March that the CAA issue has come to the fore, thanks to the petitions filed by Tamil Nadu Thowheed Jamath, Shalim Muslim Students Federation Assam, one 'Sachin Yadav' & All Assam Students Union.

The Bench comprising CJI SA Bobade and Justices AS Bopanna and Hrishikesh Roy issued notice to the respondents but refused to issue an interim order for stay on the operation of the Act.

The central government has already filed an exhaustive counter affidavit justifying the CAA as being reasonable and intra vires of the constitution. While the many petitions have mainly contended that the law is discriminatory as it liberalises grant of citizenship to non-Muslim migrants from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan. It is also assailed as being devoid of reasonable classification and being violative of fundamental rights as well as constitutional values of secularism.

The petition of All Assam Students Union contends how CAA is contradictory to the Assam Accord since it allows illegal immigrants to get citizenship in India.

The petition by Tamil Nadu Thowheed Jamath states that the law is not founded on the basis of intelligible differentia. It also states that the law is devoid of any guiding principle on why the rest of the neighbouring countries minorities are not given the benefit under the Act.

The petition by Muslim Students Federation (Assam) states that the impugned law has no rational nexus with the object it is said to achieve. It further states that while espousing a humanitarian approach to accept refugees, the government cannot discriminate on the basis of religion.

No date of hearing has yet been assigned to these new batch of petitions which have been tagged with the rest of the petitions.

First published in Sabrang India.