Indian Union Muslim League(IUML) has challenged the notification issued by the centre for granting citizenship to minorities from Afghanistan, Pakistan and Bangladesh under Citizenship Amendment Act. On May 28, the centre issued a notification allowing the minorities of these three countries, residing in certain districts, to apply for Indian citizenship.
The notification gives powers to the collectors of certain districts in Gujarat, Chattisgarh, Rajasthan and Punjab to exercise the powers of the Central Government under Section 5, for registration as a citizen of India or for grant of certificate of naturalisation under Section 6 of the CAA act. The notification defines minorities of these countries as Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis and Christians.
IUML has filed a plea challenging the notification citing that the centre had submitted that it was not necessary to stay the CAA act as the rules hadn’t been framed. It has accused the centre of trying to circumvent the assurance given to the court by issuing the order. The plea further says that ‘while Section 5 (1)(a)-(g) of the Act lays down in unequivocal terms the persons who are eligible to apply for citizenship by registration, Section 6 of the Act permits any person (not being an illegal migrant) to apply for citizenship by naturalisation’ and that the centre is trying to whittle down the applicability of these two provisions by issuing the notification.
It interprets that if the two provisions are read together, it does not permit ‘the classification of applicants on the ground of religion’ and that the order doesn’t withstand the test of Article 14. It prays to the court to strike down the order, arguing that it will be difficult to take back the citizenship granted through this order, if the court strikes down CAA and its rules in the future. It is to be remembered that IUML was the first party to file petition against CAA act in the Supreme Court.
(Featured Image Source: Deccan Herald)
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