The Constitution bench of the Supreme Court on Wednesday said it will begin hearing petitions related to Assam’s National Register of Citizens (NRC) from October 17.
In these petitions, the constitutional validity of Section 6A of the Citizenship Act has been challenged.
There has been a dispute regarding citizenship in Assam for a long time. Now after the decision of the Supreme Court, the dispute can be resolved. The news of the commencement of hearing in the Supreme Court has raised hopes among a large section of the population that this will provide them relief.
According to a report on India Today website, a five-judge bench headed by CJI DY Chandrachud has directed the parties concerned to submit the common compilation in the prescribed format before October 10.
The court will decide whether Section 6A of the Citizenship Act suffers from any constitutional infirmity.
Section 6A is a special provision that was included in the Citizenship Act of 1955 in furtherance of the Memorandum of Understanding called ‘Assam Accord’ signed between the Central Government and the leaders of the Assam movement on 15 August 1985.
This case is pending in the Supreme Court since 2009
Under Section 6A, foreigners who came to Assam before January 1, 1966 and were ordinarily resident in the state, will have all the rights and liabilities of Indian citizens. Those who came to Assam between January 1, 1966 and March 25, 1971, will have the same rights and obligations, except that they will not be able to vote for 10 years.
The Supreme Court will hear 17 petitions. This also includes a petition by Assam Public Works, challenging the “discriminatory nature” of Section 6A in granting citizenship to immigrants. The pleas argued that the special provision was in violation of Article 6 of the Constitution, which fixed July 19, 1948, as the cut-off date for granting citizenship to immigrants.
This case is pending in the Supreme Court since 2009. In 2014, after preparing 13 questions, a two-judge bench sent it to a three-judge bench. After this, in 2015, the bench of three judges sent it to the bench of five judges.
The decades old problem of Assam can be solved
According to law related news website Live Law, the bench comprising Justice AS Bopanna, Justice MM Sundaresh, Justice JB Pardiwala and Justice Manoj Mishra along with CJI DY Chandrachud took up the matter on Wednesday to pass procedural instructions.
The bench said that procedural instructions have already been issued in this case on January 10, 2023. The soft copy of the general compilation will be prepared by October 3. Written submissions will be filed by October 10.
More news from Assam
That’s why many organizations of Assam have reached the Supreme Court
The Live Law report says Section 6A of the Citizenship Act is a special provision on citizenship of persons covered under the Assam Accord and provides that persons who came to India between January 1, 1966 and March 25, 1971 and came to Assam They will be allowed to register themselves as citizens of India.
It sought direction to the concerned authority to update the National Register of Citizens (NRC) relating to the State of Assam on the basis of the details contained in the NRC prepared in 1951 instead of updating it keeping in mind the voter list prior to March 24, 1971. Is. Other organizations in Assam have also filed petitions challenging the validity of Section 6A.