New Delhi: The Supreme Court today adjourned the hearing for September 19 on a batch of petitions challenging the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019.
A three-member bench led by Chief Justice UU Lalit were to consider over 200 pleas contesting the CAA.
The last hearing in the pleas was held in the apex court in June last year.
The development comes nearly a month after the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA)—led by Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader and Home Minister Amit Shah—sought fifth extension to frame CAA rules.
In 2020, MHA had said the process was getting delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and that it would be undertaken after the vaccination drive begins.
CAA seeks to make members of six minority religious communities—Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, Parsi, and Christian—from Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Bangladesh, who visited India before December 31, 2014, eligible for Indian citizenship.
The act that was notified on January 10, 2020, also exempts members of these six communities from punishment under the Foreigners Act of 1946, and the Passport Act of 1920.
The pleas were filed by some political parties and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) before the top court challenging the Act.
The petitioners included the Kerala-based political party Indian Union Muslim League (IUML), Trinamool Congress MP Mahua Moitra, Congress leader and former Union minister Jairam Ramesh, All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM), NGOs Rihai Manch and Citizens Against Hate, Assam Advocates Association, and law students among others.
The statute was brought before the SC under Article 32 of the Constitution.
The primary grounds for the challenge are that the legislation breaches Article 14 of the Constitution.
The petitioners argued that under Article 14, no one can be denied the right to equality before the law or the equal protection of the law on Indian territory.
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