Kerala govt says CAA ‘discriminatory’; First state to move SC against Citizenship Amendment Act

Published: January 15, 2020 2:55:40 AM

Kerala has also challenged the Passport (Entry to India) Amendment Rules, 2015; Foreigners (Amendment) Order, 2015; Passport (Entry to India) Amendment Rules, 2016; and, Foreigners (Amendment) Order, 2016.

The petition was filed two weeks after the Kerala Assembly passed a resolution demanding that the new citizenship law be scrapped.The petition was filed two weeks after the Kerala Assembly passed a resolution demanding that the new citizenship law be scrapped.

By Ananthakrishnan G

Challenging the Citizenship (Amendment) Act and calling it “discriminatory” and a “colourable legislation”, the Kerala government became the first state to move the Supreme Court on Tuesday, urging it to declare the law enacted by Parliament violative of the Constitution, its basic structure rule and secular principles. The petition was filed two weeks after the Kerala Assembly passed a resolution demanding that the new citizenship law be scrapped.

Citing SC’s original and exclusive jurisdiction, the plea filed under Article 131 of the Constitution said “in accordance with the mandate of Article 256, the Plaintiff State will be compelled to ensure compliance of Impugned Amendment Act and the Rules and Orders, which are manifestly arbitrary, unreasonable, irrational and violative of fundamental rights. Thus, there exists a dispute, involving questions of law and fact, between the Plaintiff State of Kerala and the defendant Union of India, regarding the enforcement of legal rights as a State and as well for the enforcement of the fundamental, statutory constitutional and other legal rights of the inhabitants of the State of Kerala”.

Kerala has also challenged the Passport (Entry to India) Amendment Rules, 2015; Foreigners (Amendment) Order, 2015; Passport (Entry to India) Amendment Rules, 2016; and, Foreigners (Amendment) Order, 2016.

The plea said the CAA and amendments to the Passport Rules and Foreigners Order are “class legislations harping, interalia, on the religious identity of an individual, thereby contravening the principles of secularism, which has been recognised repeatedly by this Honourable Court as a basic structure of the Constitution”.

A legislation discriminating on the basis of an intrinsic and core trait of an individual cannot form a reasonable classification based on an intelligible differentia, the state said, adding that the “religious classification brought forth violates the twin test of classification under Article 14, the protection of which is not limited or restricted to Citizens alone and extends to all persons”.

The plea contended that the CAA, Passport Rules and Foreigners Order “is a colourable legislation; in as much as there is a Constitutional prohibition to makes the said legislation in violation of the secular nature of the Constitution; but despite the same, the Legislature has enacted it”.

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