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Wednesday, June 29, 2022

If SC takes up all issues, what are LS, RS there for: CJI

The CJI posed the query to Advocate Ashwini Upadhyay, who had approached the top court with a prayer to direct the government to identify, detain and deport all illegal immigrants within a year.

By: Express News Service | New Delhi |
Updated: April 7, 2022 10:02:09 pm
Chief Justice of India, Supreme Court, Supreme Court CJI, SA Bobde, CJI Bobde, NV Ramana, Indian ExpressChief Justice of India NV Ramana. (File)

Chief Justice of India N V Ramana on Thursday voiced anguish over Supreme Court being burdened with the onus of deciding politically sensitive issues on which the elected government ought to take a call.

“If I agree all your matters to be taken up and orders that are sought have to be passed, what purpose are political representatives elected for?…the Lok Sabha… the Rajya Sabha?”, the CJI asked, wondering if the court will now have to pass Bills too.

The CJI posed the query to Advocate Ashwini Upadhyay, who had approached the top court with a prayer to direct the government to identify, detain and deport all illegal immigrants within a year.

On January 31, 2018, the court directed that his petition be tagged with another plea filed by two Rohingya refugees in September 2017 and directed that a copy of it be served on the central government counsel.

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The two Rohingya refugees had moved the court following a letter issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs to Chief Secretaries of all states and Union Territory administrations, “advising them to sensitise all the law enforcement and intelligence agencies for taking prompt steps and initiating deportation processes”.

Subsequently, the two refugees filed an interlocutory application against any likely attempt to deport members of the Rohingya community living in Jammu, which was rejected on April 8, 2021.

Meanwhile, on March 26, 2021, it also issued notice to the Centre and states on Upadhyay’s petition. As his plea was not listed for hearing thereafter, Upadhyay took it up with the CJI on Thursday during mentioning hours when matters that require urgent hearing are brought to the attention of the CJI.

Seeking urgent hearing, he said, “Five crore illegal immigrants are taking away our right to livelihood.”

“Mr Upadhyay, everyday I have to hear your case only. All the problems under the sun, Parliament members issue, nomination issue, election reforms, etc. These are all political issues being filed before the court instead of relief being sought from the government,” responded the CJI before going on to voice concern over the court being burdened with sensitive political issues that governments must take a call on.

Upadhyay submitted that some states had filed their replies. Turning to Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, the CJI said, “If you have a counter-affidavit ready, then we can list the case.” Mehta, however, said he was unaware of the case.

Upadhyay has filed PILs in the Supreme Court on a whole range of issues. Among them: seeking a uniform divorce code for people cutting across religions; uniform adoption and guardianship laws; statutory status for Law Commission of India; implementation of two-child norm; and minority status for Hindus in states where their numbers have gone below others as per the 2011 census.

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