The Supreme Court today refused to put on hold the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA), which is at the core of nationwide protests, and gave the centre four weeks to respond to petitions on the law.
The court also said a five-judge constitution bench will give an interim order on some 140 petitions on the citizenship law. The court made it clear that it would not put the law on hold without hearing the Centre.
A bench headed by Chief Justice SA Bobde is hearing 143 petitions, mostly challenging the validity of the CAA.
“This matter is uppermost in everyone’s mind,” said Chief Justice Bobde.
“Because of the unmanageable crowd, we may hear some small matters in chambers and lawyers can come in chambers,” he added.
The Supreme Court has issued notice to Centre.
Attorney General K K Venugopal, appearing for the Centre, told the bench that the government has been given copies of around 60 pleas out of the 143 petitions.
He said it wanted time to respond to pleas which have not been served on it.
Senior lawyer Kapil Sibal had urged the bench to put on hold the CAA and postpone the National Population Register (NPR) for the time being.