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Petition filed challenging discriminatory nature of CAA rules 2024, SC seeks responses

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HT Digital,

Guwahati, April 19: The Supreme Court has responded to a petition challenging the Citizenship (Amendment) Rules of 2024, rules implemented to ease the citizenship process for non-Muslim migrants from Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Afghanistan. The rules have been questioned for their potential effect on Assam’s demographics.

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The Supreme Court bench, headed by Chief Justice DY Chandrachud and Justice JB Pardiwala, has asked the Centre and Assam government for responses to the petition lodged by Assamese scholar, writer, literary critic, and social activist Hiren Gohain.

Gohain’s petition claims that the CAA Rules of 2024 are unconstitutional, discriminatory, and arbitrary, and pose a threat to fundamental constitutional rights. The petitioner emphasises the demographic changes in Assam due to illegal migrants from Bangladesh, asserting that the issue is about the rights of indigenous Assamese people.

The plea stresses the urgency to address the surge of migrants to protect Assam’s cultural and demographic balance. Although the court did not stop the enforcement of the CAA Rules, it directed the Centre to address applications requesting a suspension of their enforcement until petitions challenging the Citizenship (Amendment) Act of 2019 are resolved.

This move shows the court’s recognition of the seriousness of the issue and the need for a thorough examination of the CAA’s legal and constitutional implications. The contentious CAA has led to nationwide protests and divided public opinion. With the Supreme Court now involved, the legal battle over the citizenship rules is expected to intensify as the country grapples with questions of identity, citizenship, and constitutional rights.

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