Updated: December 18, 2019 3:32:32 pm
After a span of more than three decades, veteran Congress leader and three-time Assam chief minister Tarun Gogoi Wednesday attended court proceedings as a lawyer as the Supreme Court took up a batch of petitions challenging the constitutional validity of the Citizenship Amendment Act.
Gogoi, a lawyer by profession, was in court to assist Congress leader P Chidambaram. The last time the former chief minister was in court to argue a case was in 1983.
The top court adjourned the matter till January 22 after issuing a notice to the Centre. The Asom Gana Parishad (AGP), an ally of the ruling BJP, Congress leader Jairam Ramesh, Rajya Sabha MP Manoj Jha, were among those who filed pleas.
“My father and former 3-term Assam Chief Minister Shri Tarun Gogoi dons his lawyer robes to file his case against the Citizenship Amendment Act in the Supreme Court today,” his son and Congress MP Gaurav Gogoi tweeted earlier in the day.
Gogoi had opposed the Citizenship Act, calling it “discriminatory”. Speaking to The Indian Express in August this year, Gogoi, while defending the NRC in Assam, said the NRC and Citizenship Amendment Bill are contradictory to each other.”
My father and former 3-term Assam Chief Minister Shri Tarun Gogoi dons his lawyer robes to file his case against the Citizenship Amendment Act in the Supreme Court today. @tarun_gogoi @INCIndia pic.twitter.com/fsOxEFKtcm
— Gaurav Gogoi (@GauravGogoiAsm) December 18, 2019
States in the Northeast, especially Assam, witnessed intense protests in the wake of the Citizenship Amendment Act, ever since the Bill was tabled in the Rajya Sabha. Army and paramilitary columns were called in to control the violence.
The Citizenship Amendment Act seeks to grant citizenship to Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Christians, Jains and Parsis who entered the country from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan until December 31, 2014. It has become controversial largely because it excludes Muslims.
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But in Assam, protesters are worried about the prospect of the arrival of more migrants, irrespective of religion, in a state whose demography and politics have been defined by migration.
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