Hiren Gohain, Others Move SC Against Citizenship Bill
Intellectuals from Assam, including writer Hiren Gohain, moved the Supreme Court on Monday challenging a recent change in passport rules and the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2019, which would allow non-Muslim migrants who arrived in India on or before December 31, 2014, to stay on as Indian citizens. The court refused to deal urgently with the petition and urged the petitioners to wait until the bill, which was passed in the Lok Sabha, becomes an Act. “These rules came in 2015. Where were you since then? The bill is yet to become an Act,” a three-judge bench led by CJI Ranjan Gogoi observed. “Is this the appropriate time?” The bench then adjourned the hearing indefinitely. The petition was filed by the Nagarikatwa Ain Songsodhan Birodhi Mancha, an entity set up recently to resist the bill. Among those who challenged the bill were journalist Manjit Mahanta and poet and critic Harekrishna Deka. They made the Central and state governments and the ministry of external affairs parties to the petition.