Why the Government wants to implement NRC nationwide including Assam?


Dear fellow lawyers and citizens

One may legitimately ask Why the Government wants to implement NRC nationwide including Assam One may genuinely enquire if Government wants to grant citizenship to those who were persecuted on account of being Hindus, Sikhs, Jains, Budhists , Christians and Parsis in Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan then What prevented the Government from doing so without bringing amendments to the Citizenship Act, 1955 vide the Citizenship ( Amendment) Act, 2019? 

Remember six years’ failed exercise of NCR in Assam at a cost of thousand crores of tax payers money which was initially started as a genuine exercise of detection of illegal immigrants in Assam from Bangla desh ended up as a fiasco rendering family of the former President of India not an citizen; one Kargil hero who had received gallantry award landed in detention camp and children declared foreigners while parents were able to prove themselves as Indian. This shows complete unjust and inhumane consequences of NRC in Assam. The Assamese population and people of other States of North East India are opposing C.A .A. and the NRC because they have suffered immense pain and traumatic experience. After this monumental disastrous misadventure around 14 lakh out of 19 lakhs so called foreigners in Assam turned out to be Hindus. That is why Home Minister Amit Shah in a Rally in West Bengal declared that CAA would be brought in before bringing NCR in whole of the Country. Therefore CAA should be viewed in conjunction with NCR despite unconvincing denial by the Prime Minister.

Few Words about CAA

The Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019 has raised severe insecurity and apprehension in the mind of Muslim minority all over the country as the Act stands to be anti-Muslim community even on the face of it. The act has made a clear exclusion of Muslim Community in regard to the government policy of giving citizenship to the illegal migrants and refugees. The Citizenship Act, 1955 is on a principle that the citizenship as a unifying idea. The Citizenship Act, 1955 grants citizenship by birth (section 3), by descent (section 4), by registration (section 5), by naturalization (section 6), special provisions as to citizenship of persons covered by the Assam Accord (section 6A), citizenship by incorporation of territory (section 7). None of the sections is based on religion. The shared identity is at the core of citizenship and has been at the core since the time the constitution was adopted by the Constitution Assembly. A reading of section 2 & 3 of the amended Act would make it clear that for the first time the religion is made a basis for grant of citizenship and for its denial. There is exclusion of Muslims in the matter of giving Citizenship by registration or naturalization even in the case of religious persecution. The Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019 provides for giving Indian citizenship to six minority communities from Bangladesh, Afghanistan and Pakistan. These six Communities include Hindus, Budhists, Jains, Parsis, Christians and Sikhs.  The amended Act has specifically excluded the Muslim community.  The Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) seeks to alter the basis of citizenship provided in Article 5 and 6 of the Constitution and The Citizenship Act, 1955. The religion cannot be the criterion for grant of or denial of citizenship in a Democratic Secular Republic. India is not a theocratic nation The Act is therefore an assault on secularism and the Constitution. The CAA is against the mandate of Article 14 and 21 of the Constitution

There are big discrepancies between facts and pretentions. It is pretended that the Citizenship amendment Act (CAA) is not discriminatory but fact is that for the first time in the history of independent India, religion is made a ground for grant of citizenship of India and denial thereof by adding proviso to Section 2 sub section (1) clause (b) which runs as under:

 “ Provided that any person belonging to Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, Parsi or Christian community from Afghanistan, Bangladesh or Pakistan, who entered into India on or before the 31st day of December, 2014 and who has been exempted by the Central Government by or under clause (c) of sub section (2) of Section 3 of the Passport (Entry in to India) Act, 1920 or from the application of the provisions of the Foreigners Act, 1946 or any rule or order made there under, shall not be treated as illegal migrant for the purpose of this Act.”
Changes in the Passport (Entry in to India) Act, 1920 and the Foreigners Act, 1946 were made by the Government at the back of Parliament in September 2015. These amendments permitted the same selected groups chosen on religious grounds to stay on in India if they had come before December 2014.

Another important pretention is that CAA has no link with National Register of Citizens (NRC). Fact is that in April 2019 the Home Minister said,” First the CAB will come. All refugees will get citizenship. Then NRC will come. This is why refugees should not worry, but infiltrators should. Understand the chronology-CAB will come and then NRC. NRC is not just for Bengal, it is for the entire country.”

On 9th December 2019, the Home Minister said in Parliament that a nationwide NRC would follow the passing of the CAA.                     

The Prime minister declared in a rally in Delhi’s Ram Lila ground on 22nd December that “ I want to let the 130 crore citizens of India know that since my Government has come to power since 2014, there has been no discussion on NRC anywhere.” However, in the customary address to joint session of Parliament on 20th June, 2019 the President of India said, “My Government has decided to implement the process of National Register of Citizens on a priority basis to identify the infiltrators”.

On November 21, 2019 the Home Minster said in the Rajya Sabha that the process of NRC will be carried out across the Country.

Police Repression on the protesters
The vibrancy of democracy allows the citizens to voice their dissent against the policies of their government in peaceful manner. The police action of firing which claimed scores of lives and defence of such brutal acts by the political executive of the country is not only reprehensible but shows growing intolerance to criticism of its policy. What happened in Jamia University and Alligarh Muslim University on 15th of December 2019 has shaken the conscience of all Indians. The Uttar Pradesh saw the arrests of innocent people including sealing of their properties and bizarre comments of policemen on innocent citizens suggest that repression was selective on communal basis. Entire student community is up against CAA, NRC and brazen acts of violence by the masked goons on the students of JNU on 5th of January, 2020. Perfidious behavior of the police and chicanery employed by the attackers in connivance with police and University administration has completely shaken the faith of the people from the police and political dispensation. This repression has to be opposed.

Lawyers have a duty and obligation to defend the Constitution, Rule of Law and democracy. 

Lawyers for Democracy appeals to the lawyers law teachers and law students to join a peaceful march from Supreme Court to Jantar Mantar on 14th January (Tuesday) at 3.00 pm to reassert the Constitution by opposing CAA, NCR, NPR and the Police repression on the students of Universities and to oppose the action of the Police in various cities and towns of UP.

 Lawyers for Democracy
Contact: 981-036-7189; 971-199-6142; 996-843-7413; 981-026-3115; 981-122-5408; 964-300-4461; 099-68-63291; 98112 10223; 098-185-3148; 92780 33916; 986-804-1507; 98185 97174;