CAA Row / Challenging CAA in Supreme Court, Kerala Becomes First Among States to do So

Kerala becomes the first state to file a petition in the Supreme Court against the contentious CAA.

KERALA CAA|In a latest development, the Kerala government has challenged the Citizenship(Amendment)Act in an altogether new way. It has gone ahead and opposed the CAA before the Supreme Court, becoming the first state to do so, amid nationwide protests against the contentious CAA. Presently, the Supreme Court is already hearing nearly 60 petitions against the religion-based CAA.

Kerala has a Left-led government and in its petition against the CAA, it calls the CAA a deviation from several articles of the Constitution including the right to equality and says that the law goes against the basic principle of secularism as enshrined in the Indian Constitution.

The Kerala government has also challenged the validity of the changes and alterations that have been made to the Passport Law and the Foreigners(Amendment)Order, which regularises the residence of non-Muslim migrants coming from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan who entered India before 2015.

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The contentious CAA has been seeing protests across the length and the breadth of the country and it is known to be a law which discriminates between religions as far as the granting of Indian citizenship to people from the three neighbouring countries of Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan is concerned. In other words, it eases the path for non-Muslims in Muslim-majority nations of Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan to become citizens of India. Those who critique the CAA and stand in opposition to this contentious law fear that the CAA along with the proposed NRC will discriminate against non-Muslims.

The petition that has been filed against the CAA by the Kerala government says that it violates Articles 14,21 and 25 of the Indian Constitution. Article 14 is regarding the right to equality as enshrined in the Indian Constitution. Article 21 says that no individuals will be deprived of life or personal liberty except according to procedure established by law. Article 25 grants all individuals equality entitled to ‘freedom of conscience’.

Many non-BJP led states have expressed their dissent against the CAA and have refused to conduct the CAA or the NRC. More than 60 writing petitions have been filed in the Supreme Court so far against the CAA. Many political parties, NGOs, civil society organisations and MPs have also gone ahead and challenged the law. The Supreme Court is likely to hear the petitions on January 22.

The Act has come into force from January 10 through a notification issued by the Home Ministry.

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