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SC declines stay on CAA

By Spl Correspondent

NEW DELHI, Dec 18 - The Supreme Court on Wednesday declined to grant a stay on the operation of the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA), while issuing notices to the Union government.

Hearing a clutch of petitions filed by over 60 petitioners challenging the CAA, a three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice of India (CJI) SA Bobde and Justices BR Gavai and Suryakant fixed the next date of hearing on January 22 next year, after the winter break of the court. A battery of lawyers sought to make submissions on the issue of staying the Act. However, it was brought to the court�s notice that the question of stay does not arise at the point, given that the rules and guidelines have not yet been notified.

The top court said it will not pass orders on stay and will take up the matter in January. The CJI sought Attorney General KK Venugopal�s views on this request. The AG told the court that the needful can be done and no court order is required for the same.

The Supreme Court was today filled with petitioners from Assam with former Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi throwing a surprise by donning the advocate�s attire. Present in the court were leaders of the All Assam Students� Union (AASU), Asom Jatiyatabadi Yuba Chatra Parishad (AJYCP), Assam Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind, Asom Gana Parishad, Leader of the Opposition in Assam Assembly Debabrata Saikia, among others.

Most of the petitioners from Assam argued that the Act violates the Assam Accord. As per the 1985 Accord, all those who had entered Assam from Bangladesh after March 24, 1971 are treated as illegal migrants.

The Accord was entered following years of agitation led by Assam groups demanding expulsion of illegal migrants from the State.

The petitioners argued that the CAA, which makes non-Muslim migrants from Bangladesh who had entered India before December 31, 2014 eligible for Indian citizenship, dilutes the Assam Accord. �The result of the impugned Act will be that a large number of non-Indians, who have surreptitiously entered Assam after March 25, 1971, without possession of valid passports, travel documents or other lawful authority to do so, will be able to take citizenship and reside therein,� the AASU stated in their petition.

The AGP in its petition said that Sections 2, 3, 5 and 6 of the CAA are inconsistent with Section 6A of the Citizenship Act, 1955. Section 6A of the Act is a special provision as to citizenship of persons covered by the Assam Accord. Thus, Section 6A of the Act is a special provision dealing with citizenship for persons and illegal migrants who have entered from Bangladesh and the cut-off for acquisition of citizenship for such category of persons is March 24, 1971.

The AGP claimed that the CAA is in violation of various provisions of the Constitution in as much as it has diluted the political, economical, social and cultural rights of the citizens of Assam under Articles 14, 15, 29, 21 and 25 and 29(1), 325 and 326 by creating deeming fiction and granting citizenship to otherwise illegal immigrants who have entered India by flouting the law of the country.

Some of the petitioners from Assam included AASU, AJYCP, AGP, All Assam Lawyers Association, Debabrata Saikia, Tarun Gogoi, Assam State Jamiat Ulema, North East Students Organisation, Assam Association of Deaf, Assam Pradesh Congress, Hiren Gohain, Digboi IOCL(AOD) Contractors Association and Others, All Assam Matak Sanmilan, among others.

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SC declines stay on CAA

NEW DELHI, Dec 18 - The Supreme Court on Wednesday declined to grant a stay on the operation of the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA), while issuing notices to the Union government.

Hearing a clutch of petitions filed by over 60 petitioners challenging the CAA, a three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice of India (CJI) SA Bobde and Justices BR Gavai and Suryakant fixed the next date of hearing on January 22 next year, after the winter break of the court. A battery of lawyers sought to make submissions on the issue of staying the Act. However, it was brought to the court�s notice that the question of stay does not arise at the point, given that the rules and guidelines have not yet been notified.

The top court said it will not pass orders on stay and will take up the matter in January. The CJI sought Attorney General KK Venugopal�s views on this request. The AG told the court that the needful can be done and no court order is required for the same.

The Supreme Court was today filled with petitioners from Assam with former Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi throwing a surprise by donning the advocate�s attire. Present in the court were leaders of the All Assam Students� Union (AASU), Asom Jatiyatabadi Yuba Chatra Parishad (AJYCP), Assam Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind, Asom Gana Parishad, Leader of the Opposition in Assam Assembly Debabrata Saikia, among others.

Most of the petitioners from Assam argued that the Act violates the Assam Accord. As per the 1985 Accord, all those who had entered Assam from Bangladesh after March 24, 1971 are treated as illegal migrants.

The Accord was entered following years of agitation led by Assam groups demanding expulsion of illegal migrants from the State.

The petitioners argued that the CAA, which makes non-Muslim migrants from Bangladesh who had entered India before December 31, 2014 eligible for Indian citizenship, dilutes the Assam Accord. �The result of the impugned Act will be that a large number of non-Indians, who have surreptitiously entered Assam after March 25, 1971, without possession of valid passports, travel documents or other lawful authority to do so, will be able to take citizenship and reside therein,� the AASU stated in their petition.

The AGP in its petition said that Sections 2, 3, 5 and 6 of the CAA are inconsistent with Section 6A of the Citizenship Act, 1955. Section 6A of the Act is a special provision as to citizenship of persons covered by the Assam Accord. Thus, Section 6A of the Act is a special provision dealing with citizenship for persons and illegal migrants who have entered from Bangladesh and the cut-off for acquisition of citizenship for such category of persons is March 24, 1971.

The AGP claimed that the CAA is in violation of various provisions of the Constitution in as much as it has diluted the political, economical, social and cultural rights of the citizens of Assam under Articles 14, 15, 29, 21 and 25 and 29(1), 325 and 326 by creating deeming fiction and granting citizenship to otherwise illegal immigrants who have entered India by flouting the law of the country.

Some of the petitioners from Assam included AASU, AJYCP, AGP, All Assam Lawyers Association, Debabrata Saikia, Tarun Gogoi, Assam State Jamiat Ulema, North East Students Organisation, Assam Association of Deaf, Assam Pradesh Congress, Hiren Gohain, Digboi IOCL(AOD) Contractors Association and Others, All Assam Matak Sanmilan, among others.