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SC seeks Centre’s response on petitions challenging CAA, next hearing on Oct 31

Hearing the petitions after a gap of almost two years, a division bench of the apex court comprising Chief Justice UU Lalit and Justice S Ravindra Bhat has listed the matter next on October 31 for directions.

GUWAHATI:

The Supreme Court, on September 12, directed the Union government to submit its response to a series of 220 petitions challenging the constitutional validity of the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) 2019.

The apex court also directed the Assam and Tripura governments to file their responses to petitions regarding the challenge to the CAA which were specific to the two states in question.

Hearing the petitions after a gap of almost two years, a division bench of the apex court comprising Chief Justice UU Lalit and Justice S Ravindra Bhat has listed the matter next on October 31 for directions.

After the President’s assent on CAA on December 12, 2019, the All-Assam Students Union (AASU) filed a petition in the Supreme Court on December 13, 2019.

The apex court heard the petition on January 22, 2020, and passed an order that the matter of Assam and Tripura should be segregated.

After more than two and half years, the court heard the matter on Monday and directed the Solicitor General to prepare a complete list of the matters about these challenges.

The court also said the matters should be put in different compartments depending upon the challenge raised in individual petitions.

“The Union of India shall file appropriate responses concerning segments of challenges. Let the needful exercise be done in 4 weeks from today,” the court said.

“After such segmenting is done, the lead matters shall be demarcated and a convenience compilation representing lead matters shall be prepared after consulting counsels for the other side,” the court also said.

The court further said: “In the meantime, let notices be issued in all fresh matters wherever notices have not been issued. Responses to petitions shall be filed by the Union of India going by compartments. So far as the State of Assam and Tripura is concerned, they shall also file their compilation reports and also complete pleadings within 4 weeks and their pleadings shall also be taken into consideration for the compilation.”

“Jaideep Gupta submits that the State of Kerala has independently filed a suit praying for similar relief. List it for next week. Registry to list all pending matters which have not been allocated with this matter,” the court said.

Earlier, senior advocate Kapil Sibal stated that there were two sets of matters and there was a need for segregation in the matters.

Solicitor General of India, Tushar Mehta, agreed with the same and stated that the issues could be classified for the ease of court and that he could circulate the same in advance and ensure that if there existed any overlap, he would point the same in advance and ensure that he would point the same.

Senior advocate Menaka Guruswamy also highlighted that there were some matters which were wrongly classified as non-Assam matters and the same had to be reclassified.

Senior advocate Indira Jaising raised two points before the court and stated that the Union had not filed any reply about her Assam petition and that there might be an overlap to avoid the same, a sheet could be created to decide if segregation had to be done or not.

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