Today, the Supreme Court of India issued a notice in a batch of fresh petitions challenging the constitutional validity of the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), 2019. The three-judge bench comprising Chief Justice of India tagged the five fresh petitions along with 160 other pending matters before the Court.

The petitions were filed in February by Tamil Nadu Thowheed Jamath, Shalim, All Assam Law Students Union, Muslim Students Federation (Assam), and Sachin Yadav, but could not be listed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In today’s hearing, the petitioner’s lawyers sought an interim order from the Court to address the conflict of the CAA with the Assam Accord. Though CJI Bobde refused to pass any interim order, the Court issued a notice in the pleas. The CAA was notified on January 10, 2020, to grants Indian citizenship to non-Muslim minorities (Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, Parsi, and Christian) who migrated to India from Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Bangladesh till December 31, 2014, following religious persecution.

On December 18 last year, the Supreme Court had decided to examine the constitutional validity of the CAA, while refusing to stay its operation.

Hearing a batch of 143 petitions, the Apex Court had, on January 22, made it clear that the operation of the CAA will not have stayed. It had given the government four weeks to respond to the pleas and also said that pleas concerning Tripura and Assam, as well as the matters related to Uttar Pradesh, which is going ahead with the implementation of CAA without framing any rules, can be dealt with separately.

In January, the Court had also said the modalities for hearing the petitions will be decided in-chamber and that it would fix them for day-to-day hearing after four weeks.

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