CAA threatens Assamese culture and identity, says plea in Supreme Court

21/05/2020

NEW DELHI, MAY 20: The Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) poses hindrance to the protection and preservation of the culture and identity of the Assamese people, a petition filed by a Guwahati-based organization of Assamese law students told the Supreme Court.
The petitioner, All Assam Law Students Union, submitted that the CAA dilutes the constitutional and legal safeguards given to the Assamese people by various laws and the Assam Accord of 1985.
The Clause 6 of the Assam Accord specifically mandates the union government and also the State of Assam to protect the Constitutional, legislative and administrative safeguards of the Assamese people and also provides protection, preservation and promotion of the culture, social, linguistic identity and heritage of the Assamese people. As such under no circumstances, the Union Government could have come up with the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019, which dilutes the constitutional, legislative and administrative safeguards of the Assamese people,” the plea said.A bench, headed by Chief Justice of India SA Bobde, issued notice to the central and Assam governments on Wednesday and tagged the matter to be heard with other petitions challenging the CAA.The CAA which was passed in December 2019 amends Section 2 of the Citizenship Act, 1955, which defines “illegal migrants”. According to change in definition, any person belonging to Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, Parsi or Christian communities from Afghanistan, Bangladesh or Pakistan, and who have been exempted by the Central Government under the Passport (Entry into India) Act, 1920 or the Foreigners Act, 1946, shall not be treated as “illegal migrant”. Consequently, such persons shall be eligible to apply for citizenship by naturalisation, which is laid down under Section 6 of the 1955 act.
The exclusion of Muslim community from the benefits of CAA had led to widespread protests across the country, as did the linking of citizenship with religion.
There have also been protests against a proposed all-India National Register of Citizens (NRC).

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