Chief Justice of India SA Bobde said that 'will hear petitions on CAA only when violence stops.' (Photo Credit: PTI File Photo)
As the nation continues to witness wave of intense protests against the citizenship law, Chief Justice of India Sharad Arvind Bobde on Thursday said, “the country is going through difficult times.” The critical observation was made by the Chief Justice of India as the top court heard a plea that demanded actions against those spreading 'falsehood and misinformation' about the amendments. Regretting the violence during the CAA protests, the Chief Justice of India said that, “will hear petitions on CAA only when violence stops and endeavours are made to restore peace.”
Hearing the plea, the Bench including CJI Bobde with Justices BR Gavai and Surya Kant said that petitions of this nature lead to causing more agitations and do not help in the endeavour to restore peace. The Supreme Court was hearing the plea filed by senior advocate Vineet Dhanda. In his petition, Dhanda also urged the top court to declare CAA to be constitutional. At this point the Bench said that, "This court's job is to determine validity of a law and not declare it as constitutional."
Last year in the month of December, the Supreme Court had issued notice to the Narendra Modi government on bunch of petitions challenging the validity of the contentious Citizenship Amendment Act. A Bench of Chief Justice SA Bobde, Justice BR Gavai and Justice Surya Kant refused to stay the implementation of the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019.
As many as 59 petitions were filed in the apex court challenging the legal validity of the Act. Almost all pleas have called the Citizenship Act unconstitutional. The order comes amid the intense anti-Citizenship Act protests that have swept the nation. The top court has fixed for hearing on January 22 pleas filed by the IUML, Congress leader Jairam Ramesh, others against CAA.
On December 11, the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill 2019 was cleared by the Rajya Sabha after a marathon debate. As many as 125 MPs voted in favour of the Bill in the Upper House and 99 against it.
The nation witnessed massive violence during the anti-CAA protests with Uttar Pradesh being the worst-hit. In UP’s Muzaffarnagar, the district administration sent notices to 46 people for their alleged involvement in damaging public property during anti-Citizenship Amendment Act protests. After the protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act turned violent in UP’s Firozabad on December 20, the Firozabad police booked around 2,500 people. As a precautionary measure, they have now issued notice to Banne Khan, who died around six years ago, under section 107/16 of the IPC. Apart from this, two men aged 90 and 93 have also been asked to appear before the Magistrate and fill a bond of Rs 10 lakh.