New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: Amid the nationwide protests, the Supreme Court on Wednesday started hearing over 140 petitions challenging the contentious Citizenship Amendment Act, demanding the withdrawal of the new legislation.

The petitions challenging the Act asserted that the new legislation is illegal and is against the constitution of our country. The pleas also contend that the CAA is discriminatory and is against the Right to Equality as it seeks to grant citizenship on the basis of religion. 

The list of petitioners includes several political parties -- the chief of them being the Congress, the DMK, CPI, CPM, Indian Union Muslim League or IUML, Asaduddin Owasi's All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen and Kamal Hassan's Makkal Needhi Maiam.

Here are the Highlights of the Supreme Court's hearing on the Citizenship Act: 

11:40 am: Before concluding today's hearing on the new citizenship law, the Supreme Court also restrains all other high courts from passing any order on CAA.

11:38 Supreme Court issues notice to Centre on fresh petitions filed challenging the Act. SC says it will hold an in-chamber hearing on the procedural issue of the case.

11:36 am: The Court will also look at the Assam issue differently, however, it clarifies that the same is for Court's benefit. All the matters will be heard together

11:34 am: Court hinted at setting up a five-Judge Bench to hear the case. The matter will be listed after five weeks for interim orders

11:32 am: Supreme Court issues notice on all the petitions, directs the petitioners to compile a list of all categories on which there has been a challenge that need to be heard by the Court. Centre granted four weeks to file it's reply

11:29 am: CJI Bobde says some small matters may be heard in chamber by the Court and for this, one or two persons on each side may be deputed by the leading Counsel

11:27 am: CJI Bobde says notice will be issued on all petitions. AG seeks a period of six weeks to file counters on the grounds that about 80 more petitions have been filed. Petitioners oppose the request for six weeks

11:24 am: CJI Bobde identifies that the challenge to CAA will have to be bifurcated in two sections - one concerning Tripura and Assam and another one concerning CAA generally

11:20 am: CJI asks Centre - When will you file a petition pertaining to Assam? Attorney General KK Venugopal tells the court - We will file the petition in two weeks. CJI says - Alright, we can hear it after two weeks.

11:17 am: Senior advocate Vikas Singh seeks an ex-parte order with respect to the implementation of the Act in Assam. He tells the court - The situation in Assam is different, 40,000 people have already entered Assam since the last hearing.

11:15 am: CJI says, we may ask govt to issue some temporary permits for the time being. AG asks court to freeze filing further petitions, as over 140 petitions have been filed&others who wish to be heard, may file intervention application.

11:14 am: Attorney General KK Venugopal says, Centre has prepared a preliminary affidavit that will be filed today. AM Singhvi says, UP has started the process, it is irrevocable as once citizenship is granted it can’t be taken back

11:12 am: Continuing with the court proceedings, the CJI says the first decision to be taken is whether we should wait for 99% of the petitions to come in. "So that tomorrow there is no argument by a new petitioner that no order was passed in my petition," he explains. The apex court is hearing 144 petitions against the contentious Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA)

11:10 am: Senior advocate Vikas Singh takes objection and says that it is a must because "demography of Assam could be changed because of the law." "Half the immigrants in Assam are Bengali Hindus," Singh explains. However, the three-judge bench of the apex court then clarifies it won't pass an ex-parte order on CAA. 


11:07 am: The Attorney General says the Centre has prepared a preliminary affidavit which will be given to parties today. At this point, senior advocate Kapi Sabil suggests the matter should be referred to a constitutional bench. "Maybe it should," the CJI replies. "NPR begins in April so some interim order could be issued," Sibal goes on to suggest. However, the Centre opposes it, says the arguments will have to be made if any interim plea has to be argued.

11:05 am: Before the hearing began Attorney General KK Venugopal complained about the crowd in CJI's court for the hearing, he said, ”atmosphere has to be peaceful and calm, especially in Supreme Court”. The Attorney General told CJI SA Bobde that this court has to issue some direction on who can come to court, some rules are to be framed. He also said that the Supreme Court of the United States and the Supreme Court of Pakistan have regulations for visitors inside the courtroom.


11:00 am: A three-judge bench led by Chief Justice of India SA Bobde commenced hearing the petitions today.

Posted By: Talib Khan