CAA is constitutionally valid.

The CAA, 2019 was enacted by parliament and came into force. The CAA, 2019 was enacted by the parliament under the power given to the parliament to regulate the right of citizenship by law under Art. 11 of the COI.

11. Parliament to regulate the right of citizenship by law

Nothing in the foregoing provisions of this Part shall derogate from the power of Parliament to make any provision with respect to the acquisition and termination of citizenship and all other matters relating to citizenship PART III FUNDAMENTAL RIGHTS General.

The sec. 2, sub section (1), clause (b) of the citizenship act 1955 was amended to state the definition of an illegal immigrant.

“Provided that any person belonging to Hindus, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, Parsi or Christian community from Afghanistan, Bangladesh or Pakistan, who entered into India on or before the 31st day of December, 2014 and who has been exempted by the Central Government by or under clause (c) of sub-section (2) of section 3 of the Passport (Entry into India) Act, 1920 or from the application of the provisions of the Foreigners Act, 1946 or any rule or order made there under, shall not be treated as illegal migrant for the purposes of this Act;”.

The above amendment shows that the persons belonging to 6 religions(Hindus, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, Parsi or Christian) and from 3 countries (Afghanistan, Bangladesh or Pakistan) and entered India before a stipulated time (31st day of December, 2014) will not be considered as illegal migrants which means they will be given the citizenship of India.

 1 Whether CAA violates the Art. 14 of the COI?

14. Equality before law The State shall not deny to any person equality before the law or the equal protection of the laws within the territory of India Prohibition of discrimination on grounds of religion, race, caste, sex or place of birth.

The Art. 14 of the Indian COI talks about equal protection of laws and it says that all the equals are treated equally. The same principle is used while drafting The CAA, 2019. The act treats equal equally.

The CAA decides the citizenship of any person who was an illegal migrant according to the results of NRC (august 2019) on the following 3 grounds: –

  1. Religious basis

The act declares to give citizenship to give citizenship to illegal migrants (as per definition of citizenship act,1955) belonging to 6 religious groups namely Hindus, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, Parsi or Christian and it does not include Muslims because people of these 6 religions are religiously persecuted minorities in the neighboring countries of India and Hindus are the majority religion in these countries and therefore they would not face religious prosecution and thus they are exempted from getting the citizenship of India.

  • On the basis of the country of origin

The CAA includes migrants from only 3 neighboring countries (Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh) and does not include the migrants from the other neighboring countries.

  • On the basis time

The CAA only includes the people, who have migrated on or before the 31st day of December, 2014 and the act does not include any person who has migrated after 31st of December 2014.

The Art. 14 of the Indian constitution says that the law only treats equals equally and not everyone equally.

2 The test for applicability of Art.14

 It is important for the government to classify the people into different categories for the public welfare. 

The 2 conditions of the test[1]are as follows

  1. intelligible differentia

This condition says that if any provision of any law is differentiating between people, then there should be a valid reason for the differentiation.  In this case the illegal migrants are differentiated on the basis of religion and there is a valid reason for this depreciation as it is explained below.

  • Rational nexus

This condition says that a provision of law should have a reasonable objective. In this case the objective of CAA is to give an identity to those who don’t have it and give the religiously persecuted minorities of the neighboring countries of India a home.

it is understood that CAA is not arbitrary and it ensures fairness and equality.

[1] 1 The State of Bombay Ors.. v. F.N. Balsara [Supreme Court of India] 25 May, 1951 AIR 318 1951 SCR 682

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