The Supreme Court of India on Wednesday refused to put a stay on the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and said that it would set up a 5-judge bench to hear a large number of petitions filed against the Citizenship Law, as demanded by some petitions.
The apex court granted the Narendra Modi led government four weeks' time to file a reply on the petitions regarding the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and indicated setting up a Constitution Bench to hear the pleas.
A Bench of Chief Justice of India(CJI), SA Bobde, Justices S Abdul Nazeer and Sanjiv Khanna passed the order while hearing more than 140 petitions challenging or supporting the Citizenship Law. During the hearing, CJI Bobde 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 were filed and others who wish to be heard, may file intervention applications.
"Centre has prepared a preliminary affidavit that will be filed today," the Attorney General added.
On the other hand, senior advocate Vikas Singh, who appeared for the Assam Advocates Association, sought an ex-parte order from the top with respect to the implementation of the Act in Assam.
Several petitions were filed in the SC and High Courts across the country for and against the CAA.
There have been protests in different parts of the country against the newly enacted citizenship law. It has also been challenged by the Kerala government in the Supreme Court. Kerala and West Bengal have also said that they will not implement the amended law.
The law fast-tracks the process of granting 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.
(With Agency Inputs)