SC Hearing on CAA Today: The Supreme Court will today begin hearing a batch of pleas against and in support of the Citizenship Amendment Act. A three-judge bench led by Chief Justice of India SA Bobde and comprising Justices S Abdul Nazeer and Sanjiv Khanna will hear 144 pleas for and against the recently-passed law which fast-tracks the citizenship process for persecuted migrants from six religious communities from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan.
Among the petitioners challenging the CAA is the Indian Union Muslim League (IUML), which has sought an immediate stay on the implementation of the law. The Supreme Court had in the previous hearing on December 18 refused to order a stay on the implementation of the law which was notified by the government on January 10.
The passage of the Act by both houses of Parliament has sparked widespread protests across the country. The protesters believe that the CAA, when combined with the proposed National Register of Citizens exercise, could prove to be a deadly weapon at the hands of the government to target Muslims.
The government, however, has maintained that there is no talk on the NRC as of now and the CAA is aimed at providing citizenship to persecuted minorities from neighbouring countries and not a law to take away the citizenship of Indians.
The petitioners, on the other hand, argue that the CAA-NRC combine goes against the principles of secularism, right to equality and dignity of life enshrined in the Basic Structure of the Constitution. Their primary objection to the CAA is the exclusion of Muslims from the migrants that the law seeks to accord citizenship. The petitioners have also argued that the CAA selectively grants citizenship benefits to illegal migrants from only three countries, which they believe is also dicriminatory.
The hearing is scheduled to begin at 10.30 AM today.