Friday, February 3, 2023

Citizenship Amendment Act, Article 370, Sabarimala among Supreme Court’s January hearings

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As the Supreme Court reopens tomorrow after its annual winter break, hearings in several important cases have been lined up for this month.

From petitions challenging the constitutional validity of the Citizenship Amendment Act and the BJP-ruled government’s decision to abrogate Article 370 that gave special status to the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir to the review of its historic verdict allowing entry of women of all ages into Kerala’s Sabarimala and Cyrus Mistry’s reinstatement as the executive chairman of Tata Sons, a lot is expected from the top court.

Petitions challenging the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA)

Over 60 petitions have been filed challenging the constitutional validity of the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) passed by parliament last year.

The newly amended Act seeks to grant citizenship to Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Christians, Jains and Parsis who escaped religious persecution in Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan and entered India before 31 December 2014.

Calling the amendment discriminatory and divisive, its critics want the centre to explain why Muslims were left out. Several political leaders, student organisations and activists have challenged the Act in the top court.

The apex court issued a notice to the Centre and sought its response by the second week of January. The next hearing in the case has been slated for January 22.

Article 370

The Supreme Court will hear a batch of pleas challenging the constitutional validity of the Centre’s decision to abrogate Article 370, which gave special status to the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir. On December 11, the bench of Justices NV Ramana, SK Kaul, R Subhash Reddy, BR Gavai and Surya Kant had deferred the hearing in the matter until January 2020.

Sabarimala Review Petition

The Sabarimala review petition will be heard in the Supreme Court this month. More than 50 review petitions were filed against the top court’s 2018 judgment.

On November 14, the Supreme Court referred the Sabarimala review petition to a seven-judge bench. The bench headed by Chief Justice SA Bobde held that restrictions on women in religious places were not limited to Sabarimala alone.

The top court, in a split 3:2 verdict, observed that the case will have larger ramification on all aspects where religious rights are pitted against principles of gender parity.

Pleas by Ratan Tata, Tata Sons Private Limited Appeal and Tata Consultancy Service against Cyrus Mistry’s reinstatement order

A two-judge panel of the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT) on December 18 said that Tata Sons chairman emeritus Ratan Tata’s actions against Cyrus Mistry were oppressive and reinstated him as the executive chairman of the Tata Sons. But the Tata Sons approached the Supreme Court on January 2 against the reversal followed by TCS and Ratan Tata, who filed a plea in his personal capacity.

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