19 Mar 2024

Supreme Court Seeks Centre's Response on CAA Applications

The Supreme Court has directed the Centre to provide a response within three weeks to applications seeking a temporary halt on the implementation of the Citizenship (Amendment) Rules, 2024, until the court resolves the challenges against the constitutional validity of the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019.

Despite pleas from a group of senior advocates representing the petitioners, the apex court declined to suspend the operation of the Rules, which are set to enforce the CAA.

Centre Affirms CAA Doesn't Nullify Citizenship

In response, the Centre informed the bench, led by Chief Justice D Y Chandrachud, that the Citizenship (Amendment) Act does not strip any individual of their citizenship.

The bench, including Justices J B Pardiwala and Manoj Misra, has issued a notice to the Centre regarding the 20 applications seeking a pause on the Rules' implementation, with a deadline of three weeks.

"We are withholding any preliminary opinions. Both sides need to be heard," the bench remarked, scheduling the next hearing for April 9.

Petitioners Call for Suspension of Citizenship Grants Till Case Is Decided

During the proceedings, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, representing the government, noted over 230 petitions filed on the matter, with 20 new applications lodged since the Rules came into effect.

"The law in question does not revoke citizenship," Mehta stated, requesting a four-week extension to address the applications.

Senior advocate Indira Jaising, representing the petitioners, urged the Centre to refrain from granting citizenship until the court reaches a verdict.

When Mehta suggested that petitioners wouldn't be disadvantaged by citizenship decisions, Jaising stressed the core issue as the law's constitutionality.

Mehta dismissed concerns about NRC

Mehta dismissed concerns about the National Register of Citizens (NRC), emphasizing the focus is on citizenship grants under the CAA.

Towards the end of the session, Jaising proposed that any citizenship grants under the new rules should be contingent upon the court's decision, noting the lack of infrastructure for implementation.

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