The Kerala government has moved the Supreme Court against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) which grants Indian citizenship to minorities from three countries - Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Bangladesh.
In the petition, the Kerala government stated that the act violates "Articles 14, 21, and 25 of the Constitution of India" and is violative of the basic structure principle of secularism as well.
With this, the Kerala government becomes the first state government to move the Supreme Court against the Citizenship Act, to which several states have raised objections. Kerala was also the first state assembly to move a resolution against CAA.
Article 14 promises Right to Equality to all while Article 21 says "No person shall be deprived of his life or personal liberty except according to a procedure established by law" and Article 25 says "all persons are equally entitled to freedom of conscience".
The Kerala government's petition argues that CAA is discriminatory because it covers only a class of minorities from a class of countries sharing borders with India and to which and from there have been trans-border migration.
It further says that CAA covers certain religious minorities of Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan and overlooks other reportedly persecuted religious minorities and sects such as Ahmaddiyas, Shias and Hazaras.
Earlier this month, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan wrote letters to his counterparts in 11 states asking them to consider passing a similar resolution like that of his state.
Vijayan had written to the Chief Ministers, "People from various cross-sections of the society irrespective of any difference they might have, need to stand united in preserving the basic tenets of our polity which form the cornerstone of Indian democracy."
At least 60 petitions filed by individuals and political parties challenging the validity of CAA are pending before the top court and are likely to be heard on January 22.
There were protests in Kerala last month against the CAA, with several hundred people coming out in Kochi and Kozhikode, demanding the scrapping of the new law. The protesters said the act is “divisive and discriminatory” in nature and was aimed at “polarising the society”.