Congress MP KP Singh Deo and AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi at the Parliament House for Winter Session, in New Delhi on Thursday.
Congress MP KP Singh Deo and AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi at the Parliament House for Winter Session, in New Delhi on Thursday.
Photo by ANI

New Delhi: All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) leader Asaduddin Owaisi on Saturday filed a petition before the Supreme Court stating that the present Citizenship (Amendment) Act "miserably fails" on the touchstone of Article 14 and the parameters for non-arbitrariness provided therein.

Owaisi moved the Supreme Court against the validity of the Citizenship (Amendment) Act that was given the final assent by President Ram Nath Kovind earlier this week.

The present Amendment Act "miserably fails" on the touchstone of Article 14 and the parameters for non-arbitrariness provided therein, Owaisi claimed in his petition.

Owaisi, in his petition, sought the apex court to pass appropriate order or direction declaring that Sections 2, 3, 5 and 6 of the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019 are unconstitutional, null and void and ultra vires Articles 14, 21 and 25 of the Constitution of India.

Owaisi also sought to pass appropriate direction from the SC declaring that the Ministry of Home Affairs' (MHA) notification G.S.R. 685(E) of September 7, 2015, read with the notifications G.S.R. 702(E) of July 18, 2016, is unconstitutional, null and void and ultra vires of Articles 14, 21 and 25 of the Constitution of India.

The Act is primarily focussed on establishing a religion-based classification which is an impermissible classification and therefore violative of Articles 14, 21 and 25 of the Indian Constitution. In other words, the criterion laid down in the Act for acquiring citizenship does not meet the test of 'intelligible differentia', he said in his petition.

Any classification based solely or primarily on a religious identity ipso facto violates Article 14 of the Indian Constitution, Owaisi in his petition stated.

Other than Owaisi, Assam Leader of Opposition Debabrata Saikia, lawmakers from Assam Abdul Khaleque and Rupjyoti Kurmi have also knocked on the doors of the apex court challenging the legality of the Act.

Earlier today, Prathapan, who is an MP from Thrissur constituency, sought a direction to apply the provisions of the Act and certain other sections to all the victims of persecution who are in the territory of India.

The Act provides citizenship to Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, Parsi and Christian communities who faced religious persecution from Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Afghanistan and arrived in India before December 31, 2014.

The Citizenship (Amendment) Bill became law after receiving the President's assent earlier this week following a debate in the Parliament.

More than a dozen petitions challenging the legality of Act have already been filed in the apex court. The petitioners include Trinamool Congress (TMC) MP Mahua Moitra, Congress MP Jairam Ramesh, two NGOs, Uttar Pradesh's Peace Party, among others.

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