Rajya Sabha MP and BJP leader Dr. Subramanian Swamy, while debating on the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2019 in Parliament, counter-attacked Congress leaders Kapil Sibal and P Chidambaram’s claims on the unconstitutionality of the Bill on the basis of Article 14. Dr. Swamy highlighted that Article 14 can make distinctions based on the equality in entitlements of the people. To prove his point, he also gave an example of SPG protection provided to PM Modi and invoked the 1988 Antulay case as well.
Subramanian Swamy also accused some of the opposition leaders of misleading the house against CAB. He said, “I think the opposition is confused between CAB and NRC and most of them have argued against the NRC. The few who have argued against CAB have in fact mislead the house in some ways."
“CAB does not violate Article 14. You can’t just blindly read Article 14 and what it says. Article 14 has undergone scrutiny in many court cases, one of the best examples of this is the Antulay case, where the govt had created a special court and it was challenged in the Supreme Court. How can you have a special court for an individual? This is a violation of Article 14 . In the judgement given in 1988, the nine-judge bench said that in matters of religion and religious practices, Article 14 (equality) can be invoked only by persons who are similarly situated, that is, persons belonging to the same faith, creed, or sec”.
Citing PM Modi’s example Dr. Swamy said, “For instance on SPG, we have a separate security force for the Prime Minister. This is because he belongs to a separate category. For the rest of the members of Parliament, we have got security on the basis of gradation. So, Article 14 says that you can make these distinctions and we have made this distinction because in Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Afghanistan, these groups have been singled out for ill-treatment and oppression. As far as the Ahmedias or the Shias are concerned, they would like to go to Iran which is a Shia country of Bahrain where Ahmedias are accepted as Muslims. However, the world sees them as Muslims. So, they cannot come under this category because these countries are Dar-ul-Islam — they have a religious Constitution, where Islam has been accepted as the state religion."
Subramanian Swamy added, “In fact, many Muslim individuals have come to our country to seek refuge — among them are Tariq Fateh and Taslima from Bangladesh. Then what happened? They said that India was only their intermediate point. Taslimagot citizenship of Sweden and Tariq Fateh of Canada. Therefore, I don’t think Pakistani Muslims need to leave Pakistan and come to our country. There is no need to include them because of the bogus concept called Article 14 being equality for all. Finally, I will say that Sri Lankan Tamils do not come to our country because of religious persecution, there was a war there, especially in areas where Tamil people resided. After that, they have all been regularly going back. The government of India has built houses for them. Now their numbers have come down from 1 crore to around 15,000. In the next six months, no Sri Lankan Tamil will be left in India. Thus, we need the Bill to protect ourselves."