Kerala Government Moves Supreme Court Challenging Citizenship Amendment Act
Members of the media gather outside of the India Supreme Court in New Delhi, India. (Photographer: Pankaj Nangia/Bloomberg)

Kerala Government Moves Supreme Court Challenging Citizenship Amendment Act

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The Kerala government has moved the Supreme Court to challenge the Citizenship Amendment Act, 2019, and sought to declare it as violative of the principles of equality, freedom and secularism enshrined in the Constitution of India.

The Communist Party of India (Marxist)-led Kerala government is the first state to challenge the act. The Kerala Assembly was also the first in the country to pass a resolution against the act.

In its suit filed in the apex court, the Kerala government has sought to declare that the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019 is violative of Articles 14 (Equality before law), 21 (Right to life and personal liberty) and 25 (Freedom of conscience and free profession, practice, and propagation of religion). It said the CAA is also violative of the basic principle of secularism enshrined in the Constitution.

On Dec. 18, the top court had issued a notice to the Centre and sought its response by the second week of January on a batch of pleas challenging the CAA's legality.

The CAA, which was notified on Jan. 10, grants Indian citizenship to non-Muslim minorities who migrated to India from Afghanistan, Pakistan and Bangladesh till December 31, 2014, following persecution over their faith.

The apex court fixed Jan. 22 for hearing 59 anti-CAA petitions, including those filed by the Indian Union Muslim League and Congress leader Jairam Ramesh. Rashtriya Janata Dal leader Manoj Jha, Trinamool Congress Member of Parliament Mahua Moitra and All India Majlis-e-Ittehad-ul-Muslimeen leader Asaduddin Owaisi have also filed pleas against the act.

Also Read: Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella Voices Concern On CAA

Other anti-CAA petitioners include the Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind, All Assam Students Union (AASU), Peace Party, CPI, NGOs 'Rihai Manch' and Citizens Against Hate. Several law students have also approached the apex court challenging the Act.

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