CAA is legal and constitutional: Ravi Shankar Prasad

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  • Law Minister Shri. Ravi Shankar Prasad speaks up on Citizen Amendment Act (CAA), NRC(National Register of Citizens), NPR(National Population Register) as well as the violence that broke out against these bills.
  • He says that CAA and other amended bills are legal and do not breach any provisions of the constitution.

CAA is legal and constitutional under Article 246 of the Constitution, the Parliament has got the power to amend laws with respect to any matters mentioned in list one of the 7th schedule in that item 17 mentions about citizenship.

Supreme court Judgement

Article 14, that is being referred to, states equality before the law and equal protection before the law. But the Supreme Court has got more than 20 judgements. It states that, if there is a classification of groups who form a class on their own then the legislation is valid. A persecuted, tortured group based on the faith of six communities hail from three countries Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh, which have declared themselves as Islamic states.

Therefore CAA is not applicable to any Indian, not even Muslims. Now consider the case in which Smt. Indira Gandhi gave citizenship to Hindus from Uganda and Shri. Rajiv Gandhi did the same with Tamils.

Others’ Views

Dr Manmohan Singh in Rajya Sabha, in 2003 mentioned the minorities fleeing from our neighbouring countries. Mr Ashok Gehlot and Tarun Gogoi had also written letters to the government.

Minority community Situation

It’s a fact that there were about seven lakh people belonging to the minority community in Afghanistan. However, only 500 are left now. What happens to Hindus- rape, murder, trafficking, forced conversion to name a few. Visit Indore, Jodhpur, Delhi to see their condition.

One provision is not talked of in this context is Article 25, that provides the right to freely profess, practice and promote any religion after coming to India.

Four Concepts- CAA, Census, NRC and NPR

There are four concepts- CAA, Census, NRC and NPR.

Census is counting of Indians that takes place only once in a decade. Also, the Census is a part of the Constitution. But doesn’t disclose any information about the people. On the other hand, NPR is a register of the usual resident.

Data from NPR can be disclosed and used by the state and Centre government for the welfare of the citizens. Coming back to NRC, it has defined legal framework under Rule 4. The data would be collected, scrutinized by the registrars and appeals will be heard, but the official period will have to be announced for the same.

Bottom Line

Prime Minister has clarified that no discussion has taken place so far on CAA. There is a probability that it may take place, but there is a legal process that has to be followed, with defining rules. The UPA did not repeal any of the Amendments of 2003, which started in 2004 by the government led by socialists and leftists.

There is now serious, competitive, aggressive positioning for vote-bank politics. Parties like PFI, MQM are the regressive and grand old party of the nation is competing with them. We acknowledge the right to protest for all Indians but the right to resort to violence is inexcusable.

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