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Union Home Ministry order inviting Citizenship applications faces challenge in SC

Union Home Ministry order inviting Citizenship applications faces challenge in SC

Ministry of Home Affairs order on May 28 exercising its powers conferred under Section 16 of the Citizenship Act, 1955 (57 of 1955) invited applications from non-Muslim refugees such as Hindus, Sikhs, Jains and Buddhists belonging to Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan residing in 13 districts of Gujarat, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, Haryana and Punjab for Indian citizenship is increasingly turning into the focal point of challenge before the Supreme Court.

A petition filed in the Supreme Court by Anis Ahmed, through Advocate A. Selvin Raja, challenging the MHA notification and urged the court to declare the MHA order “unconstitutional, discriminatory and ultravires” .

The plea stated that the government order “utterly discriminates and deprives a class of persons namely, the Muslims”. Furthermore the order violates Article 14 as it treats people within a particular class, i.e., persons qualified to apply for citizenship by registration and naturalisation unequally by ideals of their religion.

Comparative contentions were stated in two earlier petitions filed by Indian Union of Muslim League (IUML) and Popular Front of India in the Supreme Court against the Executive Order issued by the ministry.Two weeks ago, through advocates Haris Beeran and Pallavi Pratap, the IUML urged the Supreme Court to stay the May 28 order of MHA.The IUML said the MHA’s order was a strategy to implement the “malafide plans” of the controversial Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) to grant Indian citizenship on the sole basis of religion.

Further they said that CAA was already under challenge before the Supreme Court. The May 28 order intends to circumvent judicial scrutiny.The government had earlier averted a stay of the CAA by assuring SC that the Rules under the Act had not yet been outlined.

There were widespread protests in different parts of the country following the enactment of the CAA in 2019.

It said the order delegates the power to grant citizenship by registration and naturalisation to Collectors of these districts.

By team SLC 

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