Supreme Court gives Centre 4 weeks to reply to pleas on CAA, does not allow stay on Act
Several protests erupted in different parts of the country for and against the Act. The Kerala government has also challenged it in Supreme Court
New Delhi: The Supreme Court, on Wednesday (January 22), refrained from ordering the stay on the Centre's newly enacted Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) and has granted it four weeks to file a reply to petitions regarding the same.
A bench, consisting of Chief Justice of India, SA Bobde, Justices S Abdul Nazeer and Sanjiv Khanna passed the order while hearing more than 140 petitions that were challenging or were in support of the newly amended law.
The CAA grants citizenship to Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis and Christians who fled religious persecution in Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan and took refuge in India on or before December 31, 2014.
Chief Justice Bobde, during the hearing, said, "We may ask the government to issue some temporary permits for the time being."
Attorney General KK Venugopal asked the apex court to freeze filing of further petitions, as over 140 petitions have been filed and others who wish to be heard, may file intervention applications.
"Centre has prepared a preliminary affidavit that will be filed today," he further said.
Senior advocate Vikas Singh, appearing for the Assam Advocates Association, sought an ex-parte order from the court concerning the implementation of the Act in Assam. He told the court, "The situation in Assam is different, 40,000 people have already entered Assam since the last hearing."
Kerala and West Bengal have also said that they will not implement the amended law. However, Congress leaders Kapil Sibal and Salman Khurshid have said that state governments cannot legally refuse to implement a law passed by the parliament.