On 29 December, the Union Law and Justice Minister, Ravi Shankar Prasad said that “some” data collected for the National Population Register (NPR) “may or may not be used” for the implementation of a nationwide National Register of Citizens (NRC). He said that an ‘entire legal process’ will be followed in updating the National Population Register (NPR) and for the implementation of the National Register of Citizens (NRC), all over the country.
Citing to Article 246 of the Indian Constitution, the Law Minister said that it empowers the Parliament to make laws in any of the matters enumerated in List 1 of the seventh schedule and entry 17 of this list talks about citizenship, naturalization, and aliens, and stated that CAA is ‘perfectly constitutional and legal.’ He further asserted that under Rule 3 and Rule 4 of Citizenship Rules 2003, the public shall be declared about the documents required for NRC. He also said that ‘he failed to understand why only NPR is an issue since a range of data is taken for passports or the PAN.’
Additionally, Ravi Shankar Prasad mentioned that CAA doesn’t violate fundamental rights guaranteed by Article 14 of the Constitution as it is not related to any Indian at all, since it doesn’t give or take away citizenship from anyone, including Muslims. “The persecuted groups of Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Bangladesh are being given citizenship in India because of the faith form a reasonable group by themselves and this reasonable classification has a nexus with the object of the law. The CAA didn’t apply to Indians and no Indian could become a citizen or denied citizenship because of the law,” he said.
Ravi Shankar Prasad further clarified that no person would be targeted based on faith as far as welfare measures are concerned.