December 1, 2020

Citizenship Amendment Act: Updates from hearing in the Supreme Court of India.

NFTV: New Delhi : Citizenship Amendment Act hearing underway in Supreme Court of India .

A Three Judge Bench of the Supreme Court hearing more than 144 petitions challenging the Citizenship (Amendment) Act 2019

  • Court hinted at setting up a five-Judge Bench to hear the case. The matter will be listed after five weeks for an interim order.
  • Centre government granted four weeks to file its reply.
  • Supreme Court issues notice on all the petitions, directs the petitioners to compile a list of all categories on which there has been a challenge that needs to be heard by the Court
  • Chief Justice of India Justice Bobde says some small matters may be heard in the chamber by the Court and for this, one or two persons on each side may be deputed by the leading Counsel .
  • CJI Bobde says notice will be issued on all petitions. AG seeks a period of six weeks to file counters on the grounds that about 80 more petitions have been filed. Petitioners oppose the request for six weeks
  • CJI Bobde identifies that the challenge to CAA will have to be bifurcated in two sections – one concerning Tripura and Assam and another one concerning CAA generally
  • Kapil Sibal says that no rules have been framed and UP is already going ahead with the process
  • Abhisekh Manu Singhvi brings up the issue of “doubtful citizen” raised by KV Viswanathan, and tells the Court that in UP, several households have already been marked out to hint at doubtful status. Sibal adds that these people may lose voting rights
  • CJI Bobde says that the suggestion may be considered
  • A batch of petitioners raising the Assam issue seek to be heard and for notice to be issued. They propose for the general matter of CAA and the matter concerning CAA in Assam to be treated differently for the purpose of
  • KV Viswanathan steps in to highlight the urgency and the need for the process of NPR to be postponed on the grounds that the exercise provides for “doubtful” status on one’s citizenship
  • CJI Bobde to Sibal, “You are asking for a stay without using the express words of stay”
  • AG Venugopal opposes the suggestion of “stay”. Sibal says they are not seeking a stay on the Act, but merely a postponement of a process under the Act
  • Kapil Sibal suggests that in the meantime, the process of NPR may be postponed by a few months.
  • Abhishek Manu Singhvi suggests that the matter be referred to a Constitution Bench now and in the meantime, the service and another process may be complete
  • SG Tushar Mehta suggests that there be a freeze on filing further petitions and whoever else now wishes to to be heard, may file an intervention application
  • CJI Bobde says that everyone has a right to exercise judicial remedy. If orders are passed on a batch of petitions, others may say they have been left out. CJI mulls over waiting till 99% of the petitions have come in and service complete
  • Indira Jaising intervenes, “Priorities will have to be set,
  • Rajeev Dhavan makes a suggestion – Petitioners be heard on two questions: 1. Whether the matter needs to be heard by a Constitution Bench; and 2. Would there be an irreversible situation?