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India’s Supreme Court refuses to suspend citizenship act, gives govt 4 weeks to respond to petitions

India’s Supreme Court refuses to suspend citizenship act, gives govt 4 weeks to respond to petitions
India’s Supreme Court has declined to put a stay on a new citizenship law, ruling that the central government should be given time to respond to dozens of petitions to have the bill annulled.

The nation’s highest court said on Wednesday that it would not halt the implementation of the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) until it heard the government’s response to more than 140 legal challenges issued against the legislation.

Attorney General Kottayan Katankot Venugopal told the court that the government has been given copies of around 60 of the estimated 144 petitions filed against the citizenship act, so it wanted time to respond to pleas which have not been served on it. New Delhi was granted four weeks to issue their replies.

The Supreme Court also ordered lower courts to stop hearing cases related to the CAA.

Also on rt.com Kerala becomes the first state to challenge India’s new citizenship law in Supreme Court

The CAA fast-tracks Indian citizenship for six religious minorities arriving from Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Afghanistan. Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) have defended the act, describing it as a necessary humanitarian measure. Critics, however, say the law is discriminatory because it does not extend to Muslims. Anger over it has sparked violent protests across India.

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