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CRS updates its report on CAA

Prepared for members of the Congress for them to take informed decisions, CRS reports are not considered to be an official report of the Congress

Sereen shot of the CAA report by CRS /

Some key provisions of the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) may violate certain provisions of the Indian constitution, according to a report issued by the Congressional Research Service, in the middle of a parliamentary elections.

“The CAA’s key provisions—allowing immigrants of six religions from three countries a path to citizenship while excluding Muslims—may violate certain Articles of the Indian Constitution,” said the three-page “In Focus” report of Congressional Research Service (CRS), which is an independent research wing of the US Congress.

Prepared for members of the Congress for them to take informed decisions, CRS reports are not considered to be an official report of the Congress.

CRS in its report, highlighted two provisions of the Indian constitution, which its author claimed are  being violated.

Selected Articles of the Indian Constitution

14. The State shall not deny to any person equality before the law or the equal protection of the laws within the territory of India.

15. The State shall not discriminate against any citizen on grounds only of religion, race, caste, sex, place of birth, or any of them.

 

Union Defense Minister Rajnath Singh at an election rally in West Bengal defended CAA. It is not meant to take away anyone's citizenship, but is a law for granting Indian citizenship to people displaced from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan on religious grounds.

The Centre had in March implemented the CAA, notifying the rules four years after the law was passed by Parliament to fast-track citizenship for undocumented non-Muslim migrants from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan who came to India before December 31, 2014, Singh said.

CRS in its report said that the Indian government and other proponents of the CAA claim its aims are purely humanitarian. Opponents of the act warn that Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) are pursuing a Hindu majoritarian, anti-Muslim agenda that threatens India’s status as an officially secular republic and violates international human rights norms and obligations, it said.

“In tandem with a National Register of Citizens (NRC) planned by the federal government, the CAA may threaten the rights of India’s large Muslim minority of roughly 200 million,” alleged the three-page report.

Many in Congress have taken interest in human rights and religious freedom in India. In late 2019, India’s parliament passed, and its president signed into law, the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), 2019, amending the country’s 1955 Citizenship Act

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