Published: Wed, January 22, 2020
Global News | By Blake Casey

'States refusing to implement CAA is unconstitutional,' says Nirmala Sitharaman

'States refusing to implement CAA is unconstitutional,' says Nirmala Sitharaman

Attorney General K K Venugopal, appearing for the Centre, told the bench that the government has been given copies of around 60 pleas out of the 143 petitions.

The petition had alleged that the government's CAA was against the basic structure of the Constitution and meant to explicitly discriminate against Muslims as the Act extended benefits only to Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis and Christians. A Bench of Chief Justice of India (CJI) SA Bobde, Justice S Abdul Nazeer and Justice Sanjiv Khanna will hear the pleas, which also include one filed by the central government seeking transfer of such petitions pending before several high courts to the apex court.

Some of the petitions filed later have also sought a stay on the operation of the legislation which came into force on 10 January.

President Ram Nath Kovind gave his assent to the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2019 on December 12, turning it into an Act.

Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has said the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and National Register of Citizens (NRC) are India's internal matter.

India's top court has deferred a hearing on cases challenging the constitutional validity of a new law that introduced religion-based criteria for citizenship, sparking a month of often violent protests across the country.

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The Indian minister further said that till 2014 some 566 Muslims had migrated to India from Bangladesh and Afghanistan, claiming that the BJP government had granted close to 1,595 citizenships to Pakistani migrants and 391 to Muslims from Afghanistan between 2016-2018.

"Act, 2019 is violative of Article 14 of the Constitution since it discriminates only on the ground of religion, inasmuch as identically situated persons who face persecution in India's neighbourhood stand excluded from the beneficial embrace of the act only because they do not fall within the six religious communities listed in the Act", the plea said.

Supreme Court issues notice to Centre on fresh petitions filed challenging the Act.

SC starts hearing the petition on CAA. CAA protests: Can states actually challenge constitutional validity of central laws? Next, Rajasthan and West Bengal have declared it will pass a resolution against the law on January 24, the first day of its next session.

Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Sunday dubbed the proposal of some states to not implement the Citizenship Amendment Act as "unconstitutional" and said it was the responsibility of all states to ensure that the law passed in Parliament is executed.

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