Arguing Legally The Constitutional Validity of Citizenship Amendment Act

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Arguing Legally The Constitutional Validity of Citizenship Amendment Act

“We legislate first, and think afterwards; complexity is heaped upon complexity and confusion becomes worse confounded”

The Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019(herein after referred as CAA) was passed by the Parliament of India on 11 December 2019 and came into force from 10th January,2020. It amended the Citizenship Act of 1955 by providing a path to Indian citizenship for members of Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, Parsi, and Christian religious minorities, who had fled persecution from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan before December 2014. Muslims were not given such eligibility in three countries.

The Author in this blog will argue in brief the constitutionality as well as unconstitutionality of the act and it is up the readers to take the stand whether the act is constitutional or unconstitutional.

Argument in favour of Constitutionality

Based upon Part III of Constitution

The fundamental right under the Constitution is guaranteed to both citizens and non-citizens.

The Act, in fact, does not violate the rights of neither the citizens nor the non-citizens because of following reasons:


Why the Act does not violate the rights of citizen?
THE ACT DOES NOT APPLY TO CITIZENS therefore there is no question of violation of their rights.


Why the Act does not violate the rights of Muslim  non-citizens?

 Its agreed that the provision of CAA exclude the Muslim non-citizens to apply for citizenship of India based upon persecution but if one look at the provision Citizenship Act specially S. 6 i.e. Citizenship by naturalisation the non-muslims can still apply for citizenship and can be granted based upon this section if the condition under it is satisfied. Therefore, it is can be said that the rights of Non- muslims are not abridged but a certain benefit is not given to them and this non-conferment of benefit cannot be termed as violation of Part III.

With respect to exclusion of  Shias, Ahmadias, or those Muslims in these countries vis-à-vis Art 14

There are numerous articles saying that minority like Shias, Ahmadias, etc in these 3 countries are also persecuted as they are in minority so why the citizenship is denied to them and hence CAA is violative of Art. 14 because there is no intelligible differentia and reasonable nexus.

The author rebuts this argument by the fact that Shias, Ahmadias, or those Muslims in these countries is not the concern of Indian government because they are subject to the laws of their countries and no alien country(India in our case) is duty bound to protect them from persecution. It is the legislative intent of Indian parliament to protect only non-muslims and hence such  intent should be respected.




Argument in favour of Unconstitutionality

Based upon Part III of Constitution

The Act violated the right of equal protection of the laws in Art. 14 there is no equal protection from indignities meaning thereby that if the State aim for achieving some legitimate goal to protect the Right to Dignity of non-citizens like Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, etc it should extend it even to muslim non-citizens and hence there is violation of Art 14.

Problem of Identification based on religion

The State though have made a law religion centric but it has not laid down criteria on which it would identify the religion of a person meaning thereby that which documents have to be produced to show that a person belongs to Hindu community or jain community or any other community as the case maybe.

Adding to it, even if the document is produced stating the religion of a person then who will verify its whether it is genuine, according to evidence act. Therefore the CAA is unconstitutional based upon the doctrine of vagueness[ Please refer the case of KA Abbas v UOI 1971 AIR 481, 1971 SCR (2) 446 which deals with this doctrine]


3 Replies to “Arguing Legally The Constitutional Validity of Citizenship Amendment Act”

  1. A beautiful explanation provided by the author, which breaks down the nitty-gritty of CAA in simple words. Helpful for all, and engineers like me, in particular!

    1. Moreover, I read many articles on CAA, but the last point raised by author, about ‘Unconstitutionality of CAA due to doctrine of vagueness’, something which denotes deep understanding of subject by the author. Way to go, sir!

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