Kochi: Kerala became the first state to challenge the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) in the Supreme Court on Tuesday, asking that it be struck down for being discriminatory and violative of Articles 14, 21, and 25 of the Constitution.
These articles lay down the principles of equality, freedom and secularism in the Constitution.
The challenge in the Supreme Court follows up the resolution passed by the Kerala Assembly, also a first, opposing the new law, which purportedly offers citizenship to persecuted people from neighbouring countries but effectively shuts out Muslims.
Chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan was in New Delhi last week to attend the CPM Politburo meeting; he held talks with legal experts on the topic. Following these consultations, the government decided to go ahead with a suit in the Supreme Court. The state’s additional chief secretary in charge of the home department moved the petition for the government on Monday.
The apex court is already dealing with 59 petitions by individuals or political groups challenging the controversial amendment. Having referred these suits to the central government for its response, the court fixed January 22 for hearing them.
Among these challengers are the Indian Union Muslim League (IUML), Congress leader Jairam Ramesh. RJD leader Manoj Jha, Trinamool Congress MP Mahua Moitra and AIMIM leader Asaduddin Owaisi.
Others include the Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind, All Assam Students Union (AASU), Peace Party, CPI, NGOs 'Rihai Manch' and Citizens Against Hate. Several law students have also approached the apex court challenging the Act.
Pinarayi Vijayan has the support of all political parties--bar the BJP--in the Kerala Assembly on his confrontation with New Delhi over CAA. Industries minister E P Jayarajan told reporters on Tuesday that the state government would “go to any extent to continue its fight against the CAA. This Act destroys democracy.”
“This will only help in implementing the RSS agenda, to drive the nation to a fascist regime,” he said....