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Photo: Mint
Photo: Mint

First PIL filed in SC post CAA being notified

  • The PIL has been filed by Minority Front, NGO for minority rights and protection
  • Over 60 petitions already pending in the apex court in relation to the CAA

First PIL filed in Supreme Court against the Citizenship Amendment Act, 2019 (CAA) post it being notified in the Gazette of India on 10 January, 2020. The PIL also claims that the National Population Register (NPR) which is stipulated to be prepared by the government is a very costly affair during “economic slowdown".

There are more than 60 petitions already pending in the apex court in relation to the CAA which were filed before the notification of the Act.

The petition has been filed by Minority Front, non-governmental organization for minority rights and protection which has been working for last 7 years for the upliftment of minorities. The petitioners have submitted their petition that a notification in relation to NPR had been issued on 31 July, 2019, which stipulates that Population Register will be prepared within the period of April 1, 2020 to September 30, 2020. The NGO alleges that “as per media reports a sum of Rs3,941.35 crore has been approved to be utilized for the exercise of preparing the National Population Register (NPR) which sum will be wasted as the preparation of National Population Register is not an isolated exercise and is intrinsically linked to the subsequent preparation of the National Register of Citizen (NRC)."

Referring to the speech of Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 22 December, the petitioners state that as per the speech, “the Central Government has already taken a policy decision to not go ahead with the NRC." In view of this as per the petitioners the entire sum sanctioned for preparation of the NPR “will go down the drain" as the Government is not planning to prepare a nationwide NRC.

The petitioners have while seeking directions for the setting aside of the Act and notification also apprised through their petition that, “in the present economic scenario, where there has been a sharp slowdown in economic growth," the government should not waste more money.

The Supreme Court on Friday had also issued notices to all petitioners who have moved different high courts challenging the constitutional validity of the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019, seeking their views on the Centre’s plea to transfer their petitions to the top court.

The Supreme Court on 18 December issued notice to the Centre on a batch of 60 petitions challenging the validity of the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), 2019. However, the court refused to grant an interim stay on the new law. The next date of hearing is 22 January. The case will be heard by a three judge bench headed by Chief Justice SA Bobde and comprising Justice BR Gavai and Justice Suryakant.

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