SC adjourns petitions challenging CAA to December 6
The Supreme Court appointed two lawyers as nodal counsel in the batch of cases and decided to treat the petition filed by the Indian Union Muslim League as the lead matter
The Supreme Court on Monday adjourned the petitions challenging the Citizenship Amendment Act, 2019 to December 6, 2022, and appointed two lawyers as nodal counsel in the batch of cases.
The bench decided to treat the petition filed by the Indian Union Muslim League as the lead matter.
The matter was heard by a bench comprising Chief Justice UU Lalit and Justices Ravindra Bhat and Bela M Trivedi.
Pallavi Pratap, advocate for petitioner Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) and advocate Kanu Agrawal (Central government counsel) were nominated as nodal counsel to prepare compilation of all relevant documents.
The court asked all counsels to share written submissions not exceeding three pages. “Nodal counsel can designate one or two other matters as lead matters keeping in mind geographical and religious classification,” stated the apex court.
“Having noted that there are various pleas projecting multiple views, resolution of entire controversy can be achieved if two or three matters are taken as lead matters and convenience compilations of all counsels are prepared well in advance. This will make proceedings convenient. Pleadings by IUML are complete and were filed by Pallavi Pratap. We appoint Ms Pratap and Mr Kanu Agrawal as nodal counsel. These counsel are requested to have common compilation of all relevant documents," directed the court.
The three-judge bench noted that the petitions raising issues relating to Assam and North-East could be separately classified.
The court also granted time to Assam and Tripura to file their responses to the latest affidavit filed by the Union government in relation to the issues of the North-Eastern region.
There are over 200 petitions challenging the CAA, of which nearly 50 petitions raise issues specific to Assam and other North-Eastern states.
The petition filed by the Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) states that while they do not oppose the grant of citizenship to migrants, they are aggrieved by the discrimination and illegal classification based on religion.
The 2019 Act amends the Citizenship Act 1955 to liberalise the norms for granting citizenship to non-Muslim migrants from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan.
The petition states that the religious segregation made by the Act is without any reasonable differentiation and results in violation of Article 14, which promises equality before the law.
The petition highlights the exclusion of Myanmar, Sri Lankan Tamil refugees, and Rohingya Muslims, and the inclusion of Afghanistan.
The Centre, through an affidavit, submitted that the CAA did not impinge upon any existing right that may have existed prior to the enactment of the amendment and further, in no manner whatsoever, sought to affect the legal, democratic or secular rights of any of the Indian citizens.