Supreme Court
Supreme Court. File image

The Supreme Court on Wednesday said it will hear Assam and Tripura-related petitions on the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) separately from the other pleas on the Act.

According to reports, an apex court bench headed by Chief Justice SA Bobde said it will hear petitions pertaining to Assam and Tripura separately as the problem with CAA in these two states is different from the other parts of the country.

The apex court gave four weeks to the central government to file their reply to the petitions.

Taking 144 petitions on CAA, the Supreme Court on Wednesday made it clear that it will not grant any stay on the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) without hearing the Centre.

Also read: SC no to CAA stay without hearing Centre

Advocate General KK Venugopal sought six weeks’ time for the Centre to respond, which was opposed by the petitioners.

In the 5th week with effect from Wednesday, either the bench headed by Chief Justice Bobde or the constitutional bench will take interim measures into the matter.

The Supreme Court expects that at present, the central government would not take any measures for the implementation of the Act.

“We welcome the decision of the Supreme Court. The case of Assam and Tripura is totally different…these two states which have faced the influx of illegal immigrants for years,” said All Assam Students’ Union (AASU) chief advisor Samujjal Bhattacharya.

He said the entire nation is against CAA. “Our fight against this Act will continue until and unless the government withdraws the Act,” said Bhattacharya.

Echoing the same view, All Moran Students’ Union president Arun Jyoti Moran said, “The people of Assam will never accept CAA…We welcome the court’s decision for hearing CAA case of Assam and Tripura separately.”

The bench comprising Justice S Abdul Nazeer and Sanjiv Khanna also proposed to set up a five-member constitution bench to hear the case.

“The matter is uppermost in every body’s mind. We will form a five-judge bench and then list the case,” the court said.

The Citizenship Amendment Bill (CAB) became an Act as President Ram Nath Kovind gave his assent to the bill on December 12, 2019.

Amid protests across the country, the Act came into force through a Gazette notification issued on January 10, 2020.

After hearing the petitioners, Chief Justice SA Bobde said the “challenge” of the Citizenship Act had to be bifurcated into two sections – one concerning Assam and Tripura and another concerning the Act in general.

Chief Justice Bobde also said notices will be issued on all the petitions filed.

The Supreme Court bench heard a batch of pleas challenging the validity of CAA, including those filed by the Indian Union Muslim League (IUML), All Assam Students’ Union (AASU) and Congress leader Jairam Ramesh.

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