Bharat Express

Supreme Court to Address 230+ Petitions Urging Halt on Citizenship Amendment Rules Today

Supreme Court Acknowledges Arguments by Kapil Sibal, Representing Indian Union Muslim League, in CAA Dispute

Supreme Court

Supreme Court

The Supreme Court is set to hear a series of petitions on Tuesday, March 19, regarding the Citizenship Amendment Rules, 2024. These petitions request the Court to direct the Centre to suspend the implementation of the rules until the Court decides on the petitions challenging the constitutional validity of the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019.

Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud and justices JB Pardiwala and Manoj Misra acknowledged the arguments presented by senior advocate Kapil Sibal, representing the Indian Union Muslim League (IUML). Sibal contended that once Indian citizenship is granted to migrant Hindus, it cannot be revoked, thus underscoring the urgency for an early hearing.

The Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) rules, enacted by the Centre and passed by Parliament in 2019, aim to grant Indian citizenship to persecuted non-Muslim migrants from Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Afghanistan who arrived in India before December 31, 2014.

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Following the issuance of the rules under the CAA, the Kerala-based political party IUML swiftly moved the Supreme Court seeking a stay on their implementation. They urged the Court to halt the enforcement of the statute and regulations and prevent coercive measures against Muslims deprived of the law’s benefits.

Besides IUML, other parties such as the Democratic Youth Federation of India (DYFI), leader of Opposition in the Assam assembly Debabrata Saika, and Congress MP from Assam, Abdul Khaleque, have also filed applications.

IUML, one of the initial challengers of the CAA in 2019, argued that the law establishes an unjust and biased process for granting citizenship to non-Muslim migrants, thereby implementing a discriminatory regime solely based on religious identity.

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, representing the Centre, questioned the petitioners’ standing, expressing doubts about their locus standi. He pointed out the existence of 237 pending petitions against the CAA, including four interim applications seeking a suspension of the rules.

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“We will hear this on Tuesday. There are 190 plus cases. All of them will be heard. We will place a full batch with the IAs (Interim applications),” remarked the Chief Justice of India (CJI).

In a parallel development, All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) chief Asaduddin Owaisi also approached the Supreme Court against the CAA. Owaisi’s petition requests directions to the Centre not to entertain or process applications for citizenship status under Section 6B of the Citizenship Act, 1955, during the ongoing proceedings. Advocate Nizam Pasha, representing Owaisi, noted that they had filed an application in 2019 when the act was passed in Parliament.