On Wednesday, the Supreme Court sought a response from the Centre to PILs questioning the validity of its decision to exempt six districts of Assam from the scheme of interline permits, applicable to Assam, Meghalaya, Mizoram and Tripura tribal areas in order to prevent settlement of illegal immigrants, thus making the Citizenship Amendment Act applicable to those districts.
A bench involving Chief Justice S A Bobde and Justices A S Bopanna and Hrishikesh Roy agreed with senior lawyer Vikas Singh that the matter required consideration but refused to grant interim stay on December 12 last year's presidential order excluding the districts from the system of interline permits. "We can not grant the stay of an ex-parte.In two weeks, let the Union government file a response, "the bench said.
Appearing for petitioners – All Tai Ahom Students Union and Assam JatiyataBadi Yuva Chatra Prashad, Singh said on December 11, 1873, the government issued an Adaptation of Laws ( Amendment) Order amending the Bengal Eastern Frontier Legislation to exclude the Kamrup, Daring, Nowgong, Sibsagar, Lakhimpur and Cachar districts from the latter's jurisdiction, in order to render the system of interline permits enforced in tribal areas of N-E states inapplicable.
A day later, on 12 December, the President approved the 2019 Citizenship Amendment Act and ruled out its implementation in tribal areas of Assam , Meghalaya, Mizoram or Tripura, which were areas where the interline permit program was in place. Referring to the problem of illegal migrants in Assam, the petitioners said, "The Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulation, 1873, could have been the answer to the problems of illegal immigrants that Assam and his citizens face today. First of all, under CAA, none of Assam's illegal immigrants could get citizenship.Furthermore, even though those illegal immigrants had transferred toothed states to claim citizenship, they may have been restricted or cross-checked ....
SC has admitted several PILs challenging CAA 's validity, but has kept in mind Assam 's peculiar factual situation by segregating petitions related to Assam 's illegal migrant issue linked to CAA as a separate petition category.