ITANAGAR, Dec 17: Along with dozens of other petitioners from across the country, former Arunachal Pradesh Congress Committee president Padi Richo on Monday filed a writ petition in the Supreme Court, challenging the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA), 2019.
Richo accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah of undermining the people of the region by bringing in the CAA in the country.
“The region is burning because of the CAA and I can’t keep quiet. Dictators should know and learn that the people of the region will not keep quiet. Though the ILP regime states and 6th schedule areas have been kept out of the purview of the CAA, there is no doubt that all the states will be affected,” Richo said, adding that Assam and Tripura will be the worst affected.
The petition will come up for hearing in the SC on Wednesday.
The petition criticizes the CAA as being violative of various provisions and the basic structure of the constitution.
In his petition, Richo said the classification of the communities who are protected under the CAA “is arbitrary and illegal because the impugned act is manifestly arbitrary, inasmuch as the classification of the countries from which the communities have been chosen to extend the benefit of the act is without any discernible or justifiable reason.”
Citing various reasons for filing the petition, Richo said the classification of the group of countries – Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan – to accord special protection to the enumerated communities is without any basis in reason.
“The assessment of threat to minorities in different countries around India has to be based on objective assessment of information, and not mere perception and conjectures,” the petition reads.
“The impugned act is violative of the duty of the state under Article 355 of the constitution of India,” it reads, adding that mere exclusion of the impugned act from the areas mentioned in the 6th schedule of the constitution and areas covered under the ILP regime “does not guarantee the protection of the identity and language of the tribes and population therein, as (it grants) citizenship to hitherto illegal migrants, without adequate protection to the indigenous tribes and cultures.”
Claiming that, owing to the close proximity to states which border Bangladesh, illegal immigrants have poured into Arunachal over the years, the petition reads: “The impugned act does not provide adequate safeguards to the communities in the northeastern region, most affected by the illegal immigration of minorities.”
The petition further states that the CAA discriminates on the basis of religion, and is violative of Article 15, because “Article 15 provides that the state shall not discriminate against any citizen on grounds only of religion, race, caste, sex, place of birth or any of them.”
“It has already been argued that the impugned act is violative of Articles 14, 15 and 21, and in consequence, a collective reading of the same evidences that the impugned act is violative of the basic structure of the constitution,” Richo said in his petition.
He prayed that the Supreme Court declare Sections 2, 3, 4 and 6 of the CAA, the Passport (Entry into India) Amendment Rules, 2015 and 2016, which exempts Hindus, Jains, Christians, Jains and Parsis from Pakistan and Bangladesh from the operation of the Passport (Entry into India) Rules, 1950, and the Foreigners (Amendment) Order, 2015 and 2016 unconstitutional and ultra vires to the constitution of India.
SC to hear on 18 Dec plea of Cong, ex-Tripura king challenging CAA
PTI adds: The Supreme Court on Monday said it will hear on 18 December pleas of the Congress and former king of Tripura, Pradyot Kishor Deb Barman, challenging the constitutional validity of the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA).
A bench headed by Chief Justice SA Bobde said it will hear the pleas along with other pending matters coming up for hearing on 18 December.
Senior advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi called for urgent listing of the two pleas and said this petition should also be heard along with a similar plea filed by the Indian Union Muslim League (IUML), which is coming up for hearing on Wednesday.