No stay on CAA without hearing Centre: SC

Making clear it will not stay the Citizenship (Amendment) Act without hearing the Centre, the Supreme Court gave the government four weeks to respond to petitions challenging the legislation.

It also said that a five-judge Constitution bench will hear the matter.

Hearing a batch of 143 petitions, an SC bench headed by Chief Justice SA Bobde restrained all high courts from hearing pleas on the CAA till it decides on the petitions. “The matter is uppermost on everybody’s mind,” the court said. “We will pass order on granting any interim relief to petitioner opposing CAA after four weeks.”

The bench, also comprising Justices S Abdul Nazeer and Sanjiv Khanna, said it will hear the petitions pertaining to Assam and Tripura separately as the problem with CAA in these two states is different from the rest of the country.

The bench said it will decide inchamber the modalities of hearing the petitions and may fix them for day-today hearings after four weeks.

Senior advocate Kapil Sibal, appearing for some petitioners, asked that the National Population Register exercise be postponed by a couple of months.

Attorney General KK Venugopal, appearing for the Centre, said the government has been given copies of around 60 of the 143 petitions. He said it wanted time to respond to all the pleas.

Among those who have filed pleas are Indian Union Muslim League, Congress leader Jairam Ramesh, RJD leader Manoj Jha, Trinamool Congress MP Mahua Moitra, AIMIM leader Asaduddin Owaisi, Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind, All Assam Students Union, Peace Party, CPI, NGOs Rihai Manch and Citizens Against Hate, advocate ML Sharma, and law students

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