A day after the sectarian Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2019 was passed by the Rajya Sabha, the Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) said it has filed a petition in the Supreme Court challenging the bill, which is awaiting the President’s assent before it becomes a law.
The Bill was cleared in Lok Sabha on Monday and sailed through the Rajya Sabha on Wednesday, although the BJP-led government lacks a majority.
In its plea, the Kerala-based political party has appealed that the Indian Constitution does not allow classification on the basis of religion, and thus the Bill violates Article 14 of the Constitution. It said the Bill also violates the basic principles of secularism as laid out in the Constitution.
According to news agency ANI, senior Congress leader and noted lawyer Kapil Sibal will represent the Kerala-based political party in the apex court.
The plea, filed by advocate Pallavi Pratap and drawn by advocate Haris Beeran, said, “with the passage of the Amendment Act, and the nationwide implementation of NRC, it shall ensure that those illegal migrants who are Muslims shall be prosecuted and, those illegal migrants who are Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis and Christians such shall be given the benefit of naturalization as an Indian Citizen.”
The passage of the controversial Bill, led to widespread protests across India, especially in Assam which erupted in violent protests. Three flights and 21 train services were cancelled keeping in mind the volatile situation in Assam, according to media reports. The army was deployed in Tripura and reinforcements put on standby in neighbouring Assam.