SC hearing on CAA today: Here’s what happened so far

Prashasti Awasthi Mumbai | Updated on January 22, 2020

In Delhi, protestors at Shaheen Bagh refused to vacate the two-kilometre road stretch that they have occupied since about a month. File photo   -  The Hindu

The Supreme Court has begun hearing over 140 petitions filed against the contentious Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) today (Wednesday).

CAA seeks to grant citizenship to non-Muslim migrants belonging to Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Christian, Jain and Parsi communities who came to the country from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan on or before December 31, 2014.

A bench, comprising Chief Justice SA Bobde and Justices S Abdul Nazeer and Sanjiv Khanna, is likely to hear the petitions, including the petitions filed by Congress leader Jairam Ramesh and Indian Union Muslim League (IUML).

The 143 petitions alleged that the government’s CAA is against the secular fabric of the Constitution and explicitly discriminates against Muslims as the Act extended benefits only to Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis and Christians.

The plea filed by Congress leader Ramesh said that the Act is a “brazen attack” on the core fundamental rights envisaged in the Constitution.

Who are the petitioners who filed the pleas?

The petitioners come from all walks of life including social activists, politicians, academicians, and students. The list includes several political parties -- Congress, DMK, CPI, CPM, IUML, Asaduddin Owasi’s All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen and Kamal Hassan’s Makkal Needhi Maiam. A non-partisan, non-profit organisation like United against Hate and student group like AASU are among the petitioners who have filed against the CAA.

Wave of protests sweeps across India again

Ahead of the hearing, around 20 women along with their children flocked outside the Supreme Court on Tuesday, January 21. The protestors blocked the front gate and were later dispersed by the police, a police official confirmed.

In Delhi, protestors at Shaheen Bagh refused to vacate the two-kilometre road stretch that they have occupied since about a month. Delhi L-G Anil Baijal addressed a delegation of protesters last night and tried to convince them to stop their protests.

Meanwhile, in Lucknow, 160 women were booked for protesting against CAA and NRC. Daughters of prominent Urdu poet Munawwar Rana were also detained for marching along with women in Lucknow.

In North-East, student unions of nine universities have called for a “complete shutdown” of all varsities and colleges today ahead of the hearing. The Cotton University Students Union has also called for a mass protest from 10 am to 5 pm within the campus premises and urged the general public to join the protest.

Twitter trending

Many renowned personalities including actress Swara Bhaskar and politician P Chidambaram, and Congress leader Sanjay Jha took to Twitter to oppose the Act.

“I hope the Honb’le #SupremeCourt of #India remembers Article 14 & 15 on 22 Jan.. articles of the Constitution they are meant to uphold,” Bhaskar wrote.

Suggesting Prime Minister Narendra Modi to hold a Q&A session, Chidambaram tweeted, “I had suggested that the PM should select five of the most articulate critics and hold a Q&A session with them. Why doesn't the PM/Government accept the suggestion?”

While Sanjay Jha, in his tweet, proclaimed that the country belongs to its people. “The anti-#CAA #NRC #NPR protests are now in India’s bloodstream: this great country belongs to its people. You don’t want to budge an inch? Good luck! Political arrogance always backfires,” the Congress leader tweeted.

Published on January 22, 2020

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