SC defers CAA hearing by four weeks; constitutional bench to be set up

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New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Wednesday has deferred the hearing of various petitions related to the Citizenship (Amendment) Act by four weeks. This came on the request of the Centre which sought more time to respond to the various petitions.

The court has also said that a 5 judge Constitutional bench will hear the matter now.

Matters related to the state of Assam have been separated from the petition and will be heard separately. This is due to the fact that the NRC exercise and the CAA have two different cut offs. Also owing to the volatile situation in the state, the court expressed their view that it has to be heard separately. The centre has been given 2 weeks with respect to this state to respond.

A three-judge bench led by Chief Justice SA Bobde heard the petitions demanding the law be withdrawn and transfer of petitions filed by the Centre. The petitions contends that the new law is illegal and stands against the basic structure of the Constitution.

The petitioners who have challenged CAA are Indian Union Muslim League, Congress leader Jairam Ramesh, RJD leader Manoj Jha, Trinamool Congress MP Mahua Moitra, AIMIM leader Asaduddin Owaisi, Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind, All Assam Students Union (AASU), Peace Party, SFI, and CPI among others.

On January 9, the court had refused to entertain a plea that the citizenship law is declared constitutional, saying the country is “going through difficult times” and the endeavour now should be for peace.

The top court has already issued a notice to the centre, seeking its response on the issue. The centre has requested some similar cases filed in high courts to be transferred to the Supreme Court.

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