The Centre on Wednesday moved the Supreme Court seeking transfer of petitions challenging the constitutional validity of the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) pending before different High Courts and the top court. A bench headed by Chief Justice SA Bobde said it will hear the transfer petition of the Centre on January 10.
The bench also comprising justices BR Gavai and Surya Kant said, "We are of the prima facie view that high courts should hear the petitions challenging CAA and in case there is a conflict then we may look into it".
Solicitor General G Mehta, appearing for the Centre said, 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. The top court said lawyers moving to different states for attending a hearing in CAA matters is not its priority. Mehta informed the top court that a petition will be coming before the Karnataka High Court on Thursday. The Apex court said it will hear the transfer petition on Friday.
Last month, a clutch of 60 petitions were filed in the top court challenging various aspects of the law that relaxed conditions for migrants of six non-Muslim communities from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan to get Indian citizenship. The Supreme Court issued a notice to the Centre asking it to reply by January 22. Protests broke across the nation in December when the Parliament passed the Citizenship Amendment Bill with a majority turning it into law.
A petition was filed in the Delhi High Court against the violence at Jamia Millia Islamia University during the protest against CAA. The court will hear the case in February this year. Similar petitions were also filed in the Allahabad High Court over violence in Aligarh Muslim University (AMU), where students protested in solidarity with Jamia. The top court had refused to hear the petitions as it said the pleas should be referred to relevant High Courts. Chief Justice SA Bobde insisted that the facts of the case need to be established before lower courts first, and the top court should have the benefit of High Court orders.
(With PTI inputs)