Assam: SC to examine validity of section 6A of Citizenship Act on 5 Dec

Section 6A in the Citizenship Act was inserted as a special provision to deal with the citizenship of residents covered by the Assam Accord

The Supreme Court will commence hearings on 5 December to assess the constitutional validity of section 6A of the Citizenship Act in relation to Assam (photo: IANS)
The Supreme Court will commence hearings on 5 December to assess the constitutional validity of section 6A of the Citizenship Act in relation to Assam (photo: IANS)
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PTI

The Supreme Court is scheduled to commence hearing on 5 December to examine the constitutional validity of section 6A of the Citizenship Act relating to illegal immigrants in Assam.

Section 6A in the act was inserted as a special provision to deal with the citizenship of residents covered by the Assam Accord. The provision states that those who have come to Assam on or after 1 January 1966 but before 25 March 1971 from specified territories, including Bangladesh, as per the Citizenship Act amended in 1985, and since then have been residents of Assam must register themselves under section 18 for citizenship.

As a result, the provision fixes 25 March 1971 as the cut-off date for granting citizenship to Bangladeshi migrants in Assam.

As per the cause list uploaded on the apex court website, a five-judge constitution bench comprising Chief Justice DY Chandrachud, justices Surya Kant, MM Sundresh, JB Pardiwala and Manoj Misra would take up the matter for hearing on 5 December.

While hearing the matter in September, the apex court had said the title of the proceeding shall be, "In Re: Section 6A of the Citizenship Act, 1955." "During the course of the hearing, it has been agreed that the contesting parties shall consist of (i) those who are challenging the constitutional validity of section 6A of the Citizenship Act 1955 on the one hand; and (ii) those including the Union of India and the State of Assam who are supporting the validity of the provision," the bench had said in its 20 September order.

Several petitions are pending on the issue in the apex court.

Under the Assam Accord signed by the All Assam Students Union, Assam government and the Government of India on 15 August 1985 to detect and deport foreigners, section 6A was inserted into the act to grant citizenship to people who had migrated to Assam.


A Guwahati-based NGO challenged section 6A in 2012, terming it arbitrary, discriminatory and unconstitutional, and claiming it provided different dates for regularising illegal migrants in Assam.

A two-judge bench had referred the matter to the Constitution bench in 2014.

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