UN Human rights chief intends to move Supreme Court over CAA
New Delhi: The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights "intends to file" an Intervention Application in the Supreme Court of India over the Citizenship (Amendment) Act. India, which was informed about this on Monday evening, said that CAA was an "internal matter" and that it is a "long-standing national commitment in respect of human rights issues arising from the tragedy of Partition."
Reacting to the same, the Ministry of External Affairs said in a statement, "The Citizenship Amendment Act is an internal matter of India and concerns the sovereign right of the Indian Parliament to make laws. We strongly believe that no foreign party has any locus standi on issues pertaining to India's sovereignty."
"We are clear that CAA is constitutionally valid and complies with all requirements of our constitutional values. It is reflective of our long-standing national commitment in respect of human rights issues arising from the tragedy of Partition of India," the statement further added. "India is a democratic country governed by the rule of law. We all have utmost respect for and full trust in our independent judiciary. We are confident that our sound and legally sustainable position would be vindicated by the Hon'ble Supreme Court," MEA Spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said.
The Citizenship (Amendment) Act passed by Parliament in December last year sparked protests across the country. The citizenship law expedites granting of citizenship to Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Christians, Jains and Parsis — it leaves out Muslims — who entered the country from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan until December 31, 2014.
The Supreme Court is currently hearing petitions filed by activists, opposition members, against the amended Citizenship Act.
Unfazed by the criticism, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, last month said the government stands by the decision "despite all pressure". "For years, India had been waiting for decisions like repealing Article 370 and the introduction of CAA. These decisions were necessary in the interest of the country. Despite all the pressure, we stood our ground over these decisions and will remain so," Modi said while addressing a public meeting in Varanasi.
Several opposition ruled states across have also raised their concern against the CAA and said they will not implement the new citizenship law. Various states in India including Bengal, Bihar, Punjab, Kerala have passed resolutions against CAA. Violent clashes over the law also broke out in Delhi last week, killing 47 people and injuring over 250.
(Inputs and image from theindiaexpress.com)