New Delhi: Defending the contentious Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) in the Supreme Court, the Narendra Modi-led Centre on Tuesday claimed that the legislation won’t violate the fundamental rights. “The CAA does not impinge upon any existing rights of a citizen. It won’t affect the legal, democratic or secular rights of people,” the Centre stated, in its 129-page affidavit in response to the pleas challenging the constitutional validity of the controversial Act. Also Read - Coronavirus: Total Positive Cases Climb to 1024, Death Toll Reaches 27, State Borders Sealed | Top Points
Calling it ‘legal and constitutional’, the Centre said that the ‘questions cannot be raised on the Act as it is a matter concerning the sovereign power of parliament’.
It also said CAA does not confer any arbitrary and unguided powers on the executive as the citizenship to the persecuted minorities of Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh would be granted in a manner as specified under the law governing grant of citizenship.
Last year, the Supreme Court had decided to examine the constitutional validity of the CAA but had refused to stay its operation.
Notably, multiple petitions had been filed challenging the constitutional validity of the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019, including by RJD leader Manoj Jha, Trinamool Congress MP Mahua Moitra, AIMIM leader Asaduddin Owaisi.
Besides, Muslim body Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind, All Assam Students Union (AASU), Peace Party, CPI, NGOs ‘Rihai Manch’ and Citizens Against Hate, advocate M L Sharma, and law students had also approached the apex court challenging the Act, which seeks to grant citizenship to non-Muslim migrants belonging to Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Christian, Jain and Parsi communities who came to the country from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan on or before December 31, 2014.