NEW DELHI — At least 220 petitions challenging the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019 will be taken up for hearing by a Supreme Court bench of Chief Justice of India UU Lalit and Justice S Ravindra Bhat on September 12, reports ANI.
The pleas against the CAA first came up for hearing in the Supreme Court on December 18, 2019. It was last heard on June 15, 2021.
The Indian Union Muslim League (IUML), Trinamool Congress MP Mahua Moitra, Congress leader and former Union minister Jairam Ramesh, All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) leader Asaduddin Owaisi, Congress leader Debabrata Saikia, NGOs Rihai Manch and Citizens Against Hate, Assam Advocates Association, and law students are several among others who had filed the plea before the top court challenging the Act.
In 2020, the Kerala government also filed a suit in the apex court becoming the first state to challenge the CAA.
The Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019 fast-tracks the process of granting citizenship to Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis and Christians who fled religious persecution in Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan and took refuge in India on or before December 31, 2014.
The top court had earlier issued notice to the Centre and refused to pass an interim order staying the law without hearing the Centre.
In March 2020, the Centre filed its affidavit before the apex court saying that the CAA Act is a “benign piece of legislation” which does not affect the “legal, democratic or secular rights” of any of the Indian Citizens.
The CAA does not violate any fundamental right, the Centre had said while terming the legislation legal and asserting that there was no question of it violating constitutional morality.
The petitions contended that the Act, which liberalises and fast-tracks the grant of citizenship to non-Muslim migrants from Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Afghanistan, promotes religion-based discrimination.
The amendments have also been challenged on several other grounds, including the violation of secularism, Articles 21 (right to life), 15 (prohibition of discrimination on grounds of religion, race, caste, sex or place of birth) and 19 (right to freedom), as well as the provisions on citizenship and constitutional morality.