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CAA: Amendments Amending The Constitution

  Arti Singh,

(Advocate-on-record, Supreme Court of India )

WE, THE PEOPLE OF INDIA, having solemnly resolved to constitute India  into a SOVEREIGN  SOCIALIST SECULAR DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC–this is how the Constitution of India begins, paraphrasingnot with  “I” but “WE” and then emphasizing upon triple SSSdoctrine which culminates the entire Constitution of India, After being a Sovereign State and a Socialist State, the taxonomy used for India is a “Secular” state. The word “Secular” brings within its sweep a state or a Republic where all the religions are to be respected equally. Merely, because we belong to a class of section which has been exempted from the “acid test” laid down by the recent amendments as a proviso appended to S.2 of the Citizen Ship (Amendment) Act of 2019 does not mean that we being the citizens should encroach and enjoy tarnishing the rights of the rest of the citizens of this country who belong to a particular sect or community.

To my mind, the recent amendments introduced through proviso appended to S.2 of the Citizenship Amendment Act, 2019 is nothing but a direct infringement of the Citizenship Rights granted to the Muslim minority of this country. The introduction of proviso appended to S. 2 of the Citizenship Amendment Act, 2019 is also in direct conflict with the Citizen ship Act, 1955 more particularly, S. 3 of the Citizenship Act, 1955 which talks about citizenship by birth. The Citizenship Act of India, 1955 deals with only single citizenship. Thus, that sect or community which has been eliminated deliberately or otherwise is not an Indian Citizen because in India there is no concept of state citizenship or “dual polity”. In that case, the excluded category shall be treated as “illegal migrant” as defined under S.2(1)(b) of the Citizenship Act, 1955.  Any such interpretation or perforating the provisions of the Citizenship Act, 1955 is a direct attack and puncturingupon the basic features of the Constitution of India. Thus, the excluded category, by virtue of the impact of the recent Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019,shall be treated as  the “illegal migrants” in the country as per the law of the land. With reference to the same we should not be oblivious of S.3 (1)The Passport (Entry into India) Act, 1920 which states: “the Central Government may make rules requiring that person entering India shall be in possession of passports, and for all matters ancillary or incidental to that purpose.

Further, S.3(2)The Passport (Entry into India) Act, 1920 in  mandatory terms prohibits the entry of any “illegal migrant” to India by stating: “Without prejudice to the generality of the foregoing powers such rules may-(a) prohibit the entry into India or any part thereof of any person who has not in his possession a passport issued to him.” Thus, in nutshell by insertion of one proviso, by insertion of one amendment, we are  snatching the nativity as well as residence and the citizenship of a particular sect which is in blatant violation of the Constitution of India and is totally an inhuman approach. Our Government needs to consider these issues and bear these concerns in mind before implementing any  such law which will crumble the democratic institution of this country. The Citizenship (Amendment) Act of 2019 needs reconsideration and deep revisiting into all these areas. Any such amendment is a direct annihilation and mutilation or at the most the genetic disfigurement of  the laws of this country of the roots of this country which survives upon the triple SSS doctrine. I may also like to refer to Shri O.V Alagesan who in one of his speeches referred to a Tamil saying: “If a pot is broken by the mother-in-lawthen , it is an earthen pot; if a pot is broken by the daughter-in-law then it becomes a golden pot”. In nutshell, amendments to Constitution are always welcomed but amendments  amending the Constitution could never be a welcoming decision.


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