Around 143 petitions challenging the CAA, including several petitions filed after 18 December 2019, were listed before bench comprising CJI SA Bobde, and Justices S Abdul Nazeer and Sanjiv Khanna.
As the CAA came to be notified after the previous hearing, appearing for one of the Petitioners, senior counsel Kapil Sibal sought stay on the amendment act. He also sought referral of the matter to a Constitution Bench. Attorney General K K Venugopal sought time to file response to the fresh petitions as government had been given copies of around 60 pleas out of the 144 petitions.
AG KK Venugopal stated that Union of India would file a preliminary affidavit today. He asked court to freeze filing further petitions, as over 140 petitions have been filed&others who wish to be heard, may file intervention application.
Senior Counsel AM Singhvi submitted that the Uttar Pradesh had started the process under CAA and once citizenship were granted under the new regime, it would become irrevocable.
Court observed that it will not grant a stay without hearing the Centre on the matter.
Bench observed that it will decide the modalities of hearing the petitions in-chamber and and may fix them for day-to-day hearing after four weeks.
Bench observed that it would separately hear the cases pertaining to Assam and Tripura. CJI observed “Assam looks differently placed and hence fit might have to be heard separately.”
Court passed the following order:
Mr. K.K. Venugopal, learned Attorney General for India prays for and is granted four weeks’ time to file reply affidavit on behalf of the respondents-Union of India.
List these matters thereafter in the fifth week on a non miscellaneous day.
In the meantime, we direct that the matters involving the same issues will not be taken up for decision in any of the High Courts.
The Registry is directed to list these matters under the head of two categories i.e. one category of matters pertaining to Assam and Tripura and other category of matters pertaining to the rest of the country.