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Ahead of January 22 Hearing, Fresh Plea Filed in SC Challenging Constitutional Validity of CAA

Representative Image: PTI

Representative Image: PTI

The plea filed by NGO Association for Protection of Civil Rights (APCR) and others also sought a direction to the Centre to refrain from preparing the National Register of Citizens (NRC).

New Delhi: A fresh plea has been filed by an NGO in the Supreme Court challenging the controversial Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019, claiming that it is violative of fundamental rights granted under the Constitution and needs to be set aside.

The plea filed by NGO Association for Protection of Civil Rights (APCR) and others also sought a direction to the Centre to refrain from preparing the National Register of Citizens (NRC).

The NGO also sought an interim stay on the CAA saying it would lead to irreversible consequences as the citizenship once granted cannot be reversed and such a person cannot be rendered stateless retrospectively, even if the disputed Act and notifications are declared unconstitutional subsequently.

"The petitioners herein are challenging the impugned Act as well as the impugned provisions and the impugned notifications, as being violative of Articles 13, 14, 15, 21, 51(c) and 51-A of the Constitution of India. It is submitted that the impugned Act, the impugned provisions and the impugned notifications are manifestly arbitrary and ought to be set aside..." the plea said.

In its plea, the NGO said, "if the provisions of the CAA are operationalized and the NRC is prepared, several undocumented Indians will become stateless and therefore, it is submitted that this Court maybe pleased to direct the Respondent Union of India from refraining to prepare NRC arbitrarily".

The petition filed through advocate Ejaz Maqbool have also challenged Section 3(1) of the Citizenship Act, 1955, terming it as "arbitrary" and unconstitutional.

On December 18, the apex court had agreed to examine the constitutional validity of the CAA, but refused to stay its operation. A bench headed by Chief Justice S A Bobde had fixed a batch of 59 petitions, including those filed by the Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) and Congress leader Jairam Ramesh, for hearing on January 22.

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