The Nagpur bench of Bombay High Court on Wednesday refused to hear a PIL challenging constitutional validity of the Citizenship Amendment Act, saying the Supreme Court is already hearing petitions pertaining to the issue.
A division bench of Justices R K Deshpande and A M Borkar permitted the petitioner, social worker Urmila Kowe, to approach the apex court.
The bench noted that since there were similar petitions against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) pending before the Supreme Court, it would not be proper for the high court to interfere.
Kowe, in her public interest litigation (PIL), alleged that CAA was "arbitrary, unreasonable and violative to the Constitution of India".
"The Citizenship Amendment Act is violative of the secular nature of the Constitution of India and is discriminatory," the petition said. The CAA covers only a class of minorities and overlooks other reportedly persecuted religious groups, it said.
"The Act is arbitrary, unreasonable, irrational and violative of the fundamental rights of every citizen. The Preamble to the Constitution of India lays down that the State has no religion and there cannot be any discrimination among citizens," the PIL further said.
The new law seeks to grant Indian citizenship to Hindus, Christians, Sikhs, Buddhists, Parsis and Jain refugees from Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh who entered India on or before December 31, 2014.