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Assam Accord: SC Constitution Bench to Hear Challenge to Section 64A of Citizenship Act on Nov 1

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Assam Accord Law Insider

Khushi Bajpai

Published on: September 8, 2022 at 22:07 IST

On Wednesday, the Supreme Court set a hearing date of November 1, 2022, for the pleas challenging the constitutionality of Section 6A of the Citizenship Act, which was added by means of an Amendment in 1985 to support the Assam Accord.

On November 1st, the Bench will provide instructions for scheduling the hearing dates.

Senior advocate, Ms. Indira Jaising, had apprised the Constitution Bench comprising Justices D.Y. Chandrachud, M.R. Shah, Krishna Murari, Hima Kohli, and P.S. Narasimha that one of the ten questions of law referred to the Constitutional Bench was whether the delay in the hearing of the matter would affect the vested interest.

She suggested that the same could be decided as a preliminary issue.

In this backdrop, a Tripartite Agreement was reached amongst the AASU, the Government of India, and the Government of Assam and, on 15.08.1985, the Assam Accord was signed.

For the detection of foreigners, 01.01.1966 was set out as the cut-off. Consequently, people who had migrated to assam prior to the said date were to be regularized.

Those who come to assam after 01.01.1966 (inclusive) and up to 24.03.1971 were to be detected as per the provisions of the Foreigner’s Act, 1946 and the Foreigners (Tribunals) Order, 1964. They would have all rights, but the right to vote for a term of ten years.

Accordingly, 6A was inserted into the citizenship to reinforce these cut-off dates for granting citizenship in the State of Assam.

In this matter, the issue pending is whether the expression “every person born in India” would apply only to a person born to Indian citizens and;

Whether the phrase “either of his parents is a citizen of India at the time of his birth” in Section 3(1)(b) of the Citizenship Act, 1955, would only apply to a person who is born to parents who are citizens, provided they entered India legally and their stay is not against Indian laws in force.