Fresh plea in SC in support of Citizenship Act

Last Updated 24 December 2019, 12:22 IST

A fresh plea was filed in the Supreme Court on Tuesday for declaring the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) as "constitutional" and seeking a direction to the poll panel to take "strict action" against political parties for allegedly spreading rumours about the law leading to violence in the country.

The newly amended law seeks to grant citizenship to non-Muslim migrants belonging to Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Christian, Jain and Parsi communities who came to the country from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan on or before December 31, 2014.

Earlier on December 18, a bench comprising Chief Justice S A Bobde and Justices B R Gavai and Surya Kant had decided to to examine the constitutional validity of the CAA, but had refused to stay its operation.

The apex court had issued notice to the Centre after taking note of as many as 59 pleas including those filed by Congress leader Jairam Ramesh and Kerala's Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) challenging the validity of new law on various grounds including that it violated the concept of secularism and the right to equality under the Constitution.

The fresh PIL filed by Mumbai-resident Puneet Kaur Dhanda, through lawyer Vineet Dhanda, is the first plea which supported the Centre's legislation and sought a direction to declare the CAA as "constitutional" which should be directed to be "implemented" "aggressively" by all states.

The plea also sought a direction to the Election Commission "to identify and take strict action against the political parties spreading false rumours and violence in the country".

It also sought a direction to the Centre and the states to "extensively publicise" about the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019 saying "it is not against the spirit of the constitution of India and in no sense against any citizen of India".

It also sought a direction to the Centre to take "strict legal action against those newspaper and media houses who are spreading false information and rumours".

"That the Petitioner is filing the present Public Interest Litigation as a concerned citizen over the loss of precious lives and damage to the public property across the country especially in cities of Delhi, Ahmedabad and states of Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Haryana, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Assam and other parts of our country," the plea said.

(Published 24 December 2019, 11:48 IST)

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