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Confident that Citizenship Amendment Act will pass legal scrutiny: Tejasvi Surya

Our Bureau Bengaluru | Updated on December 20, 2019 Published on December 20, 2019

A file photo of Tejasvi Surya

Tejasvi Surya, Member of Parliament, Bengaluru (South), on Friday asserted that the Citizenship Amendment Act, (CAA) 2019, will pass the constitutional validity test of the Supreme Court. He also said that the protests against the Act were by 'misinformed and misled' people.

Addressing a gathering of advocates and general public on 'Propaganda vs Reality', Surya said, "The CAA does not fail the test of Article 14. In order to pass the test for permissible classification, some conditions must be fulfilled -- the classification must be founded on an intelligible differentia which distinguishes persons or things that are grouped together from others left out of the group. The differentia must have a rational nexus with the object sought to be achieved by the statute in question.”

“The objective sought to be achieved is providing citizenship to religiously persecuted minorities who have entered India before December 31, 2014, from three countries which are Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh.”

Talking about basis of granting citizenship, Surya said “The intelligible differentia here is how are you granting the citizenship. The Citizenship is accorded on the basis of religion because the persecution happened on the basis of religion in these three theocratic states which have declared Islam as their state religion.”

Surya also clarified various misconceptions on the Amendment.

Former Justice of the Karnataka High Court, Subhash B Adi and Chairman of Karnataka Minorities Commission Abdul Azeem were also part of the discussion. Arun Shyam of Advocates For Nation and senior advocate Vivek Reddy were also the guests.

Difference between CAA and NRC

Surya said, “When CAA and NRC is seen together, there is a fear that it will exclude Muslim minorities in India. The CAA doesn't exclude or debar anyone from citizenship. It instead grants citizenship to religiously persecuted minorities from three countries.”

He asked, “As for NRC, whether one is a Hindu from Bengaluru or a Muslim from Kerala, both will be subject to the same test under the NRC. There will be no discrimination. The procedures for the nationwide NRC is still being worked out. And when it is not yet worked out, why is there a fear that a Muslim alone will be targeted and asked to provide documents of his citizenship?”

Answering as to why Ahmedias and Shiias from Pakistan are not considered in the Citizenship Amendment Act, Surya said, "Those Ahmedias and Shiias residing in Pakistan identify themselves as Muslims. In a theocratic state, they can't be religious minorities. There is a world of difference between sectarian violence and religious violence.”

“Close to one-third of India's landmass was given to certain people on the basis of faith in 1947. Ahmedias and Shiias were at the forefront of demanding a separate state of Pakistan. You can't say that I was persecuted in the country I asked for and created, and therefore, let me into your India now. This can't be done until the 'Two-Nation theory' of Mohammad Ali Jinnah is reversed,” he explained.

Published on December 20, 2019
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