New Delhi: The Kerala government on Tuesday moved the Supreme Court against the contentious Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), thus becoming the first state government to do so. In its petition, the government called the CAA ‘completely unconstitutional.’
The government’s move comes amid massive students and women-led protests in the country against the CAA, as well as the contentious National Register of Citizens (NRC) and National Population Register (NPR).
Last week, however, Chief Justice of India (CJI) Sharad Arvind Bobde said that the apex court would hear anti-CAA petitions ‘only after the pan-India violence against the Act stops.‘
Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan has been one of the two most vocal anti-CAA Chief Ministers, along with his West Bengal counterpart Mamata Banerjee. Last month, it became the first state to pass an anti-CAA legislation in its Assembly, with the Chief Minister even declaring that ‘no detention centres would come up in Kerala.’ He followed it up by writing to 11 non-BJP Chief Ministers, urging them to adopt a similar resolution.
The CAA proposes to grant Indian citizenship to six non-Muslim religious minorities from Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan who fled their respective native countries to escape religious persecution there and came to India before December 31, 2014. However, it is the provision to exclude Muslims from the list of religious minorities, that has sparked protests, some of which turned violent, across the country.
Despite the protests, however, the CAA became law on January 10.