Friday, March 31, 2023

SC to hear petitions challenging constitutionality of CAA “once violence stops”- CJI Bobde

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Chief Justice of India SA Bobde has said that the Supreme Court will only hear the petitions challenging the constitutionality of the newly amended Citizenship Act once violence stops.

CJI’s made this statement when Advocate Punnet Kaur Dhanda mentioned before the court to declare CAA as constitutional, before a three member bench headed by CJI, comprising of Justices Suryakant and BR Gavai.

The petition filed by Puneet Kaur Dhanda on December 26, 2019, to declare the newly amended Citizenship Act ‘constitutional’, reads, “It is not against the spirit of constitution of India and in no sense against any citizen of India.”

“There is so much violence”, said the bench.

The nation is in difficult times, attempts must be made to restore peace and harmony. Petitions like this don’t help the cause”, the bench opined.

Commenting on the petition the court said that it can pass an order on the validity of the law(CAA).  “How can an Act of Parliament be declared constitutional? Presumption of constitutionality of Statutes is a theory! You were a law student at a point of time, you must know! Court can decide upon the validity of a law, can’t pass orders on constitutionality”, said the bench.

Petition filed by Dhanda had sought to initiate action against those media houses, activists, students and others, who are spreading false information regarding CAA.

Opposition leaders, activists and other organisations have challenged the Citizenship Act in the Supreme Court. The court issued a notice to the Centre on December 18, asking it to reply to all 60 petitions by January 22 when the matter is scheduled for a hearing.

Protests against CAA turned had violent in many parts of the country, with the North-Eastern states, Uttar Pradesh and Delhi being the worst hit. Till now, more than 20 people in the country have reportedly died in the violence which broke out during anti-CAA agitations.

The amendments to the Citizenship Law allows Indian citizenship to non-Muslims fleeing religious persecution in Bangladesh, Afghanistan and Pakistan. However, there is widespread fear among the Muslim community in the entire country that their citizenship is being put at stake because of the act and people in the North East fear that the culture indigenous to the region would be sabotaged by the migrants.

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