NEW DELHI – The Indian Union Muslim League on Thursday filed a petition in the Supreme Court challenging the controversial Citizenship (Amendment) Bill (CAB) which was passed by Parliament late on Wednesday.
This is the first petition filed in Supreme Court against the Bill, and more are expected to follow as other organisations also decided to challenge the bill in the court.
The plea argued that the Indian Constitution does not allow classification on the basis of religion, and thus the Bill violates Article 14 of the Constitution. It said the Bill also violates the basic principles of secularism as laid out in the Constitution.
The plea has sought direction from the apex court for striking down the Bill.
The plea, filed by advocate Pallavi Pratap and drawn by advocate Haris Beeran, said, “with the passage of the Amendment Act, and the nationwide implementation of NRC, it shall ensure that those illegal migrants who are Muslims shall be prosecuted and, those illegal migrants who are Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis and Christians such shall be given the benefit of naturalization as an Indian Citizen.”
IUML Members of Parliament P K Kunhalikutty, E T Muhammed Basheer, Abdul Wahab and K Navas Kani have also joined as petitioners in the writ petition filed under Article 32 of the Constitution of India.
As per the petition, the religious segregation made by the Act is without any reasonable differentiation and results in violation of Article 14 and also the very idea of India as a country which treats people of all faiths equally. The Indian Constitution only recognizes citizenship by birth, descent or acquisition by bonafide residence. The Act makes religion a criteria for citizenship. The linking of religion to citizenship is opposed to secularism, which is a part of the basic structure of the Constitution.
The Rajya Sabha on Wednesday approved the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill (CAB), which proposes according Indian citizenship to non-Muslim migrants from Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh. The Bill was passed by Lok Sabha on Monday and will now go to the President for his assent.
The passage of the Bill, meanwhile, led to widespread protests in the northeast, especially in Assam which erupted in violent protests. Three flights and 21 train services were cancelled keeping in mind the volatile situation in Assam, according to media reports. Army was deployed in Tripura and reinforcements put on standby in neighbouring Assam. The Indian Union Muslim League on Thursday filed a petition in the Supreme Court challenging the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2019, which was passed by Parliament late on Wednesday.