The Ministry of External Affairs on Tuesday issued a statement on the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights filing an intervention application in the Supreme Court pertaining to the petition challenging the Citizenship Amendment Act. Stressing that the CAA was an internal matter of India, MEA spokesperson Raveesh Kumar categorically stated that no foreign party had any locus standi on issues concerning India’s sovereignty. Moreover, he emphasised that the CAA was consistent with India’s commitment to addressing human rights issues arising out of the partition. Thereafter, Kumar exuded confidence that the CAA would withstand legal scrutiny in the Supreme Court.
“Our Permanent Mission in Geneva was informed yesterday evening by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights that her Office had filed an Intervention Application in the Supreme Court of India in respect to the 2019 Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA). The Citizenship Amendment Act is an internal matter of India and concerns the sovereign right of the Indian Parliament to make laws. We strongly believe that no foreign party has any locus standi on issues pertaining to India’s sovereignty.
We are clear that the CAA is constitutionally valid and complies with all requirements of our constitutional values. It is reflective of our long standing national commitment in respect of human rights issues arising from the tragedy of the Partition of India. India is a democratic country governed by the rule of law. We all have utmost respect for and full trust in our independent judiciary. We are confident that our sound and legally sustainable position would be vindicated by the Hon’ble Supreme Court.”
The CAA seeks to provide citizenship to the minority communities namely Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis and Christians from Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan. This will be applicable to the members of these communities having arrived in India on or before December 31, 2014. Moreover, they will not be considered as illegal migrants. Additionally, the mandatory residence period for naturalised citizenship for these communities has been reduced to five years. The Opposition contends that the Act discriminates on the basis of religion.