The Supreme Court takes up the challenge the Citizenship Amendment Act challenge. Notably, the Citizenship Amendment Act, 2019 seeks to grant citizenship to a class of migrants belonging to Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, Parsi or Christian communities from Afghanistan, Bangladesh or Pakistan.
The Supreme Court’s CAA Challenge
CAA challenge indicates that the hearing will be fast-tracked. The court will have to ensure that all pleadings, written submissions are filed and served to the opposite party before it is listed for final hearing.
Significantly, a three-judge Bench of the Supreme Court led by CJI (Chief Justice of India Uday Umesh Lalit will hear the challenge to Citizenship Amendment Act.
The Act was passed on December 12, 2019 and was notified on January 10, 2020. The government claimed the amendment was sympathetic and inclusionary while critics claimed that it was unconstitutional and anti-Muslim.
It may be mentioned that CAA challenge rests primarily on the grounds that the law violates Article 14 of the Constitution that guarantees that no person shall be denied the right to equality before law or the equal protection of law in the territory of India.
Moreover, the Supreme Court developed a two-pronged test to examine a law on the grounds of Article 14. First, any differentiation between groups of persons must be founded on intelligible differentia and second, that differentia must have a rational nexus to the object sought to be achieved by Citizenship Amendment Act.