Will hear CAA pleas after violence stops: SC

Will hear CAA pleas after violence stops: SC

“Object should be to bring about peace. Such petitions would not help. There is a presumption of constitutionality of a law. This court’s job is to determine the validity of a law and not declare it as constitutional,” the bench, also comprising Justices B R Gavai and Surya Kant, said.

The Supreme Court on Thursday refused to grant an urgent hearing on a plea to declare Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), 2019 as constitutional, saying  the country was going through difficult times, there was so much violence going on and such kind of plea would not help.

A bench presided over by CJI S A Bobde expressed surprise over the petition and said this was the first time that someone was asked to declare an Act as constitutional.

“Object should be to bring about peace. Such petitions would not help. There is a presumption of constitutionality of a law. This court’s job is to determine the validity of a law and not declare it as constitutional,” the bench, also comprising Justices B R Gavai and Surya Kant, said.

The court’s oral observations came after advocate Vineet Dhanda urged the top court to list a PIL filed by his wife, Puneet Kaur Dhanda for taking “stern action against those misguiding people, disturbing the peace and spreading violence in their protests against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019”.

The court said it would hear the petitions challenging the validity of the CAA when the violence stopped. The petitioner sought action against activists, students and media houses for “spreading rumours”.

Dhanda sought an order to the Election Commission to act against the political parties for the misinformation on the issue. Besides praying for a declaration that the Act was constitutional, she also sought a direction to the Centre to publicise extensively that it was not against any citizen of the country. In a PIL, she urged the court to ensure the states aggressively implemented it, contending the Muslim community of the country would not be affected negatively by it.

More than 60 petitions have been filed challenging the constitutional validity of the Act. The court had last month fixed January 22 as date for considering the matter after issuing notice to the Union government.

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