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The Supreme Court on Wednesday refused to pass an interim order on the pleas challenging the contentious Citizenship (Amendment) Act until the Centre files response and showed its inclination to refer the matter to a five-member Constitution bench.

A bench headed by SA Bobde and comprising S. Abdul Nazeer and Sanjiv Khanna concluded the hearing for today after granting the Centre four weeks to reply.

The Union law which has provoked weeks of protests throughout the country, gives persecuted minorities except for Muslims, from three neighbouring countries – Afghanistan, Pakistan and Bangladesh– the right to apply for citizenship.

The law which came into force on January 10 has been challenged by several political parties and student organizations, including Congress, DMK, CPI, CPI(M), IUML, SFI and AIMM among several others.

Stay here for live updates:

11: 40 am: Supreme Court refuses to grant an interim stay on CAA or NRC or NPR and the government is free to implement those laws.

11:35 am: Supreme Court will consider hearing pleas related to Assam and Tripura separately from rest of the pleas after Centre files its reply in the given window period of two weeks

11:30 am: Court asks Centre to file replies on all other CAA-related pleas (except those about Assam and Tripura) within four weeks.

11:25 am: Supreme Court has not referred the matter to a Constitution Bench as of now, but showed strong inclination to do that. A conclusive decision in this regard will be taken up in the next hearing.

11:20 am: Supreme Court asks the High Courts not to entertain any pleas on CAA until the apex court finishes deciding this matter before it.

11: 17 am: Sibal says that without even having rules framed, Uttar Pradesh has already started NPR exercise.

11: 15 am: AG Venugopal says that Assam petitions were not served on Union. Chief Justice responds that no ex-parte order will be passed without serving the copy.

11:10 am: Senior Advocate AM Singhvi from petitioners’ side states that many states have already started NPR process.

11:00 am: AG Venugopal opposes the suggestion of “stay”. However, Sibal clarifies that they are not seeking a stay on the Act, but merely a postponement of a process under the Act.

10:55 am: Sibal suggests alternatively NPR process can be postponed for 3 months till the bench decides on the matter.

10:52 am: Counsel from petitioners’ side Kapil Sibal requests the court to intervene as National Population Register (NPR) is set to begin in April.

10:50 am: Attorney General K. K. Venugopal informs the court that there are 140 petitions before the bench out of which Union of India has been served notice for 60 of them.

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