The Kerala Government moved to Supreme Court today, seeking the repeal of the Citizenship Amendment Act which grants Indian citizenship to non-Muslim minorities from Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Bangladesh who entered India before 31 December 2014, on the grounds of religious persecution. The Chief Minister, Pinarayi Vijayan challenged the amended Act, stating that it violates Articles 14, 21 and 25 of the Constitution and that it is against the ‘secular’ outlook and fabric of the country, thereby spearheading religion-based discrimination.
‘The Act contradicts the basic values and principles of the Constitution. Given the anxiety among the people of the country, the Centre should take steps to drop the CAA and uphold the secular outlook of the Constitution,’ stated the CM of Kerala, Pinarayi.
According to the Constitution of India, Article 14 promises Right to Equality to all its citizens, while Article 21 makes provisions that ‘No person shall be deprived of his life or personal liberty except according to a procedure established by law’ and Article 25 mandates all the citizens to be equally entitled to freedom of conscience.
Following this, Kerala became the first state to challenge the amended Citizenship Act in the Supreme Court. As per reports, the state government filed its suit under Article 131 of the Constitution, which grants the apex court an original jurisdiction to the exclusion of other courts in cases between states and the Centre or between states. The plea also challenged the validity of the Passport (Entry to India) Amendment Rules 2015 and the Foreigners (Amendment) Order which regularised the non-Muslim undocumented migrants from Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Afghanistan who had entered India before 31 December 2014.
Previously, on 31 December, the Kerala assembly passed a resolution demanding the abrogation of the Citizenship Act amid raging countrywide protests against the legislation.