NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Thursday, while hearing a petition to declare the citizenship law constitutional, said the country is going through critical times and such petitions don’t help. Refusing an urgent hearing in the case, a bench headed by Chief Justice of India S A Bobde said, “The country is going through difficult times. As it is, there is a lot of trouble. The object should be to bring about peace.”
The CJI added that the SC would hear the petitions challenging the constitutionality of the Citizenship Amendment Act 2019 once the nation-wide violence stopped.The law was notified in the official gazette but is yet to come into force. Home Ministry officials have said they were still to finalise the rules that would govern the implementation of the law.
A similar observation had been made by the CJI last month, too, when the court was urged to take suo motu cognizance of the violence in Jamia Millia Islamia and Aligarh Muslim University against students. Several states ruled by opposition parties such as Kerala and West Bengal have already declared that they would not implement this law.
Advocate Vineet Dhanda told the bench that he is seeking declaration of the CAA as constitutional, apart from seeking directions to be issued to states to implement the Act. The CJI was not impressed and said, “You know that there is a presumption of constitutionality (of laws). We don’t mean to be offensive but we have never heard of petitions like this asking that Act should be declared constitutional. This court’s job is to determine validity of a law and not declare it as constitutional.”