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SC to hear on Jan 10 plea against Citizenship Act’s Sec 6A relating to Assam

The pleas challenging the constitutional validity of Section 6A of the Citizenship Act inserted by way of an amendment in 1985 in furtherance of the Assam Accord will come up for hearing on January 10, 2023.

A Constitution Bench comprising Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud, and justices MR Shah, Krishna Murari, Hima Kohli and PS Narasimha posted the plea for directions on January 10.

The bench observed that the Attorney General of India R Venkataramani and Solicitor General Tushar Mehta along with senior advocates Kapil Sibal, Dushyant Dave and Indira Jaising, who represent the petitioners, would segregate the cases before the top court into distinct categories and suggest the order in which arguments are to be made.

Counsel for Arunachal Pradesh government sought impleadment in the matter to contend on the issue of citizenship of Chakma refugees. The bench, however, observed that the impleadment plea will be heard after the matters currently under consideration were heard. Speaking for the bench, CJI Chandrachud said, “Let us hear the main matter first. When the matter opens, you can submit.”
Section 6A provides that those who have come to Assam on or after January 1, 1966, but before March 25, 1971, from specified territories, including Bangladesh in 1985, and since then are residents of Assam, must register themselves under section 18 for citizenship. As a result, the provision fixes March 25, 1971, as the cutoff date for granting citizenship to Bangladeshi migrants in Assam.

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