SC hearing on CAA: The Supreme Court Wednesday refused to stay the contentious Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) until it heard the Centre’s response and hinted that it would set up a five-judge Constitution bench to hear the matter. A three-judge bench headed by CJI S A Bobde, which was hearing a batch of 143 pleas, granted the Centre four weeks to reply. It also restrained all high courts from hearing pleas related to CAA till it decided on petitions
During the hearing, Attorney General KK Venugopal arguing for the Centre said the government had been given copies of only 60 of 143 pleas and hence required more time to respond. CJI Bobde said the court may refer the matter to a Constitution Bench. Senior advocates AM Singhvi, Kapil Sibal appearing for the petitioners requested the court to put on hold operation of CAA and postpone the exercise of NPR for the time being.
The petitions contend that CAA stands against the basic structure of the Constitution and is illegal. Some of the petitions have also sought the legislation that came into force on January 10 be withdrawn. Petitioners include Congress MP Jairam Ramesh, the Indian Union Muslim League, and its MPs, Lok Sabha MP and AIMIM president Asaduddin Owaisi, TMC MP Mahua Moitra, All Assam Students’ Union and Tripura royal scion Pradyot Kishore Deb Barman.