Will Hear Petitions Challenging Validity of CAA When Violence Stops, Says SC

The Supreme Court also refused an urgent hearing on a separate plea seeking that it declare the CAA as 'constitutional.'

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Thursday, January 9, said that it will take up the petition challenging the constitutional validity of the recently passed Citizenship (Amendment) Act only after the countrywide agitation stops.

Chief Justice of India S.A. Bobde made this observation at the time when advocate Vineet Dhanda sought an urgent listing of his petition declaring CAA as “constitutional”. Dhanda’s petition also sought a direction to all states for implementation of the Act with immediate effect. The division bench comprised of CJI and Justice B.R. Gavai and Surya Kant.

According to the PTI, the court observed that its job is to determine the validity of a law and not declare it as constitutional.

Dhanda, along with constitutional validity of the newly passed law has also sought action against activists, students and media houses for “spreading rumours”.

Also read: All the Times the Supreme Court Turned a Nelson’s Eye to Injustice

The court, however, did not entertain Dhanda’s plea for urgent hearing. “How do we declare an Act of the parliament as being constitutional? There is always a presumption of constitutionality. You were a student of law at a point of time, you must know… for the first time, I am hearing of such a prayer. The court has to decide the validity of a law, not declare that a law is constitutional, the bench commented,” according to the Livelaw report.

A petitioner Puneet Kaur Dhanda has also sought direction to publicise the law extensively through newspapers, electronic media, advertisements, etc.

Dhanda wanted the Election Commission of India to take “strict action” against political parties who are opposing the law and have indulged in “spreading false rumours and violence in the country”. The bench has adjourned the matter until January 22 when other petitions relating to CAA will come up for hearing.

The Times of India on January 8 reported that the centre has moved the apex court seeking transfer of petitions challenging the constitutional validity of the CAA pending before different high courts to top court.

This application was also made before the same bench and the matter would be heard on January 10.

The TOI report states that Solicitor General G. Mehta, appearing for the centre had said that there will be a problem as different high courts may take conflicting views and lawyers will be moving to different states to attend the proceedings.