The Central government on March 17th, 2020, disputed all the challenges against the controversial Citizenship (Amendment) Act and presented a point-by-point rebuttal to the criticism in an affidavit filed before the Supreme Court.
The Centre told the top court that the act does not violate any fundamental right and therefore, the question of violation of constitutional morality does not arise. “The act does not result in expulsion or deportation of any person who may be classified as an illegal migrant,” Centre told.
It also said that the act does not confer any arbitrary and unguided powers on the executive as the citizenship to the persecuted minorities of Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh would be granted in a manner as specified under the law governing grant of citizenship.
The act seeks to grant Indian citizenship to the people belonging to Hindu, Sikh, Christian, Buddhist, Jain and Parsi, who have become victims of religious persecution and entered into India on or before December 31st, 2014 and lived without documentation.
Passage of the Citizenship bill in December 2019 triggered massive protests across the country, especially in the Northeast. This led to the imposition of curfew and suspension of internet services for several days leaving the normal life paralysed.
Most of the political parties including Congress and various ethnic organisations vehemently opposed the act saying that it would jeopardise the existential identity of the greater Assamese community.
Photo credit: India Today