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CAA-A Critical Analysis

India is the largest democracy in the world. It should always maintain the spirits mentioned The Constitution of India,1950. It should not implement laws which affects its own essence of Secularism and equality. The Constitutional Amendment Act,2019 or CAA,2019 was introduced by the Government of India to overcome he way long issue of illegal immigrants in India. The  bill basically allows immigrants only from 3 countries - Pakistan , Afghanistan and Bangladesh and immigrants of only 6 religions- Hindus, Sikhs, Jainism, Buddhism, Parsis and Christianity to be considered as a citizen of India if they have entered India on or before 31st December, 2014 without valid passport or documents.

India is a secular country. SECULARISM means that there is no official religion as such. The act excludes Islamic community. It violates the spirit of secularism. After this amendment, a Hindu or a Jain, or a Buddhist or a Christian can enter the country and become a citizen but a Muslim cannot. In the case of SR. Bommai V Union Of India[1], it is observed Secularism is not an anti-god but a believe to be a stay in a free society. Let me explain this by a simple example, two persons name Ashwan and Atif entered India illegally. According to Citizenship Amendment Act,2019, both will be regarded as illegal immigrant, under section 2(1)(b)[2] of the act.

If both of them gets married with a Indian spouse and produced any offspring, their children too would declared as illegal immigrant under section 3(1) (c)[3] of the act. But with this amendment in the act, Ashwan and his family who belongs to Hindu religion will easily get the citizenship, but Atif and his family who belongs to Muslim community will not get the citizenship. So, like Atif's family many Muslim family will be affected by this act and will suffer statelessness and injustice.

Speaking about another violation of the Constitution, i.e., right to equality. Article 14 guarantees to every person the right to equality before law or equal protection of the law. In the case of Ramesh Prasad V State Of Bihar [4], it is observed that aim of both concept of equality before law and equal protection before law is the equal justice.

The act allows the afore mentioned countries and mentioned religion only, if they have arrived the before 31st December,2014 and they have done so to escape religious persecution. This may sound quite fair but selecting only six religion and only 3 countries and excluding some Muslim community and other neighbouring nations are really a violation of right to equality.

This brings us to other criteria of determining whether CAA,2019 is in favour of citizen or not. The criteria is called the test of Reasonable Classification. The main objective of the Government is to protect people from Pre-partition, then why to include Afghanistan and why not Sri Lanka, Myanmar.

The country of Myanmar and Sri Lanka has also faced religious and ethnic persecution. Myanmar was part of British India until 1930, then why not include it? Including Afghanistan is seriously does not fulfil the main motive of the Act. Talking about Sri Lanka, majority of people there are Buddhists but what about Tamils who are counted as minorities. These minorities face discrimination in the country. But the government didn't care to include them too in the Act.

Talking about the classification tests, there are three tests namely objective of law, intelligible differentia and rational nexus. The objective of law through the CAA,2019 is clearly arbitrary.the concept of Arbitrariness can be seen in a number of cases such as E.P. Royappa V Union Of India [5] And Maneka Gandhi V Union Of India [6] [6]. CAA, 2019 creates an arbitrary difference between illegal immigrants on the basis of religion. It guarantees benefits to some religion while excluding only one religion which is not justified under any law.

Intelligible differentia means two differentiated classes must know the class which law protects and the class which the law doesn't protects. Rational nexus means the two separated class must have some connection between them. The classification done is not according to the law. There are many cases of violations and mass murders against minority of Tamils in Sri Lanka of Indian origin. In the case of D.S. Nakara V Union Of India, a classification held to be arbitrary and unprincipled as they were not acceptable for persuasive reason in its favour.

The said classification had no rational nexus with the object sought to be achieved. So, it is very much essential to have some connection between the class separated which tends to achieve.
At last, lets discuss about NRC which has led to widespread destruction in the state of Assam. Many people who were citizens of Assam since 1978 has lost their home.

NRC basically asks the citizen to show the proof of your grand parents citizenship back in 1980's. it does not check your citizenship, despite having all you adhaar card, ration card, pan card and all your documents, if you grandparents does not have the proof, you will be regarded as illegal immigrant. But no worries to non-muslims, they will easily procure a citizenship according to the amendment ,2019. What about the Asaamese who were excluded in this test. Imagine, if this NRC is implemented countrywide, lakhs of people will be homeless and stateless.
 
End-Notes:
  1. 1994 AIR 1918, 1994 SCC (3)1
  2. Provided that any person belonging to Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, Parsi or Christian community from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan, 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.
  3. on or after the commencement of the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2003, where - (i) both of his parents are citizens of India; or (ii) one of whose parents is a citizen of India and the other is not an illegal migrant at the time of his birth, shall be a citizen of India by birth. 
  4. 1978 AIR 327,1978 SCR (1) 787
  5. (1974) 3 SCC 3
  6. (1978) 1 SCC 248

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