NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Wednesday said that Assam's problem is different from rest of the country as the earlier cut off date for citizenship was March 24, 1971, which under the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) has been extended to December 31, 2014.
The top court agreed to hear the petitions concerning issues of Assam and Tripura separately from the batch of petitions challenging constitutional validity of the CAA.
A bench of Chief Justice S A Bobde and Justices S Abdul Nazeer and Sanjiv Khanna said, "The petitions concerning Assam and Tripura as well as the matters related to Uttar Pradesh, which is going ahead with the implementation of CAA without framing any rules, can be dealt with separately".
It observed that "Assam's problem is different from rest of the country as the earlier cut off date for citizenship was March 24, 1971, which under the CAA has been extended to December 31, 2014".
During the hearing of total 143 petitions which had challenged constitutional validity of CAA, senior advocate Vikas Singh, appearing for petitioners challenging the process of grant of citizenship under the CAA to 40 lakhs Bengali Hindus who had migrated from Bangladesh to Assam and Tripura, said the Act will create a peculiar situation as huge agitations are going on in these states.
He said the operation of CAA have stayed as it even violated Assam Accord of 1985, which fixes cut of date for grant of citizenship as March 24, 1971.
"Assam is facing a peculiar situation due to the migrants coming from Bangladesh as earlier cut off date for grant of citizenship was 1950, then cut of date was extended to March 24, 1971.
This extension has been challenged before the apex court and the matter is pending," he said.
Attorney General K K Venugopal, appearing for the Centre, intervened and urged the Court to hear petitions relating to Assam separately from a batch of anti-CAA petitions and assured the court that the exercise of Assam National Register of Citizenship (NRC) will not be complete until the national list is published by the Registrar General of India.
He said the recently concluded Assam NRC exercise, which was monitored by the apex court, will not be complete unless the final list is published.