New Delhi: The Kerala government on Monday moved the Supreme Court to challenge the Citizenship Amendment Act and sought to declare it as violative of the principles of equality, freedom and secularism enshrined in the Constitution.
The CPI(M)-led Kerala government is the first state government 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 December 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 January 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 January 22 for hearing 59 anti-CAA petitions, including those filed by the Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) and Congress leader Jairam Ramesh. RJD leader Manoj Jha, Trinamool Congress MP Mahua Moitra and AIMIM leader Asaduddin Owaisi have also filed pleas against the act.
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.