Kerala, Jan 14, 2020: Kerala became the first state to challenge the contentious Citizenship (Amendment) Act or CAA after it moved the Supreme Court on Tuesday. The plea has been filed as an original suit under Article 131 of the Constitution which empowers Supreme Court to hear disputes between government of India and one or more states, Hindustan Times reported.The petition states that the CAA violates right to equality under Article 14 of the Constitution of India, right to life under Article 21 and freedom to practice religion under Article 25.
The Kerala assembly had earlier passed a resolution stating that the CAA is against the secularism envisaged by the Constitution of India and urged the central government to repeal the law. The ruling CPI(M)-led LDF and Congress headed UDF Opposition came together to pass the resolution at a special session of the House.
“I want to make it clear that no detention centres will come up in Kerala. Kerala has a long history of secularism, Greeks, Romans, Arabs, everyone reached our land. Christians and Muslims reached Kerala in the very beginning. Our tradition is of inclusiveness. Our assembly needs to keep the tradition alive,” he had said.
Calling the implementation of CAA a “violation of the fundamental right of equality”, the Kerala CM had said, “The CAA 2019 passed by both houses of the Parliament has created concern among various communities, there has also been state wide protest against the same. In Kerala there has been a peaceful and untied agitation in general (against the CAA).
“The Act, which has set new guidelines for granting citizenship, is a violation of the fundamental right of equality as mentioned in the part III of the Constitution.”
A day after the Citizenship Bill was passed in the Rajya Sabha on December 11, Vijayan had lashed out at the Narendra Modi-led government and said the "unconstitutional Bill" will have no place in Kerala and the state will not implement it.
While asking the people to oppose the Bill, Vijayan had claimed that the proposed law is a rejection of secularism and the saffron party had made it clear that its main political plank is communalism.
Howvever, after the Kerala Assembly passed the resolution, Kerala Governor Arif Mohammed Khan said the move had no constitutional or legal validity as citizenship was a central subject.
“This resolution has no legal or constitutional validity because citizenship is exclusively a central subject, this actually means nothing,” said Khan.
The CAA seeks to provide citizenship to illegal migrants from Buddhist, Hindu, Sikhs, Jain, Parsi and Christian faiths, who have come to India from the neighbouring countries of Afghanistan, Pakistan and Bangladesh, on or before December 31, 2014.