Kapil Sibal says no state can deny implementation of CAA
Addressing the controversy over the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), Congress leader and senior lawyer Kapil Sibal on Saturday said that states cannot deny the implementation of a law passed by the Parliament. Sibal also said in a tweet on Sunday that opposing the citizenship law would be "problematic" if the Supreme Court declares it constitutional. Here's more on what he said.
'If CAA is passed, no state can deny implementation'
On the third day of the Kerala Literature Festival (KLF), the Congress leader said, "If the CAA is passed no state can say 'I will not implement it.'" Sibal added, "It is not possible and is unconstitutional. You can oppose it, you can pass a resolution in the Assembly and ask the central government to withdraw it."
Kerala moved Supreme Court against CAA
Notably, Kerala had approached the Supreme Court against the CAA earlier this week. The state sought to declare the legislation "violative of the principles of equality, freedom, and secularism enshrined in the Constitution." After Kerala, Punjab also moved a resolution against the CAA demanding that the law be scrapped. Meanwhile, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, West Bengal, and Maharashtra have also voiced disagreement against CAA-NRC-NPR.
What is the CAA, NRC and NPR?
The CAA expedites Indian citizenship for non-Muslim illegal immigrants from Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Bangladesh. Critics say the legislation infringes on India's secular principles by making religion a criterion for citizenship. Others say the CAA—in conjunction with the National Register of Citizens—will work to expel Indian Muslims. NRC is a register of Indian citizens, effectively identifying illegal immigrants. The National Population Register is a prelude to NRC.
Sibal elaborated on denial of CAA implementation
Sibal said the NRC is based on NPR and the NPR will be implemented by the local registrar, who has to be a state-level officer appointed in the community where NPR enumeration will be conducted. Sibal said, "So what is being said is that we would not allow a state-level officer to cooperate with the Union of India," describing this as "difficult" constitutionally.
Salman Khurshid backs Sibal's statements
Sibal tweeted Sunday, "Every State Assembly has the constitutional right to pass a resolution and seek [CAA's] withdrawal. When and if the law is declared to be constitutional by the Supreme Court then it will be problematic to oppose it." Fellow Congress leader Salman Khurshid also backed Sibal saying that CAA has to be obeyed if the Supreme Court doesn't interfere with it.
You can view Sibal's tweet here
I believe the CAA is unconstitutional— Kapil Sibal (@KapilSibal) January 19, 2020
Every State Assembly has the constitutional right to pass a resolution and seek it’s withdrawal
When and if the law is declared to be constitutional by the Supreme Court then it will be problematic to oppose it
The fight must go on !
'Thank God no political party is leading protests'
At KLF on Saturday, Sibal had also spoken on protests against CAA, NRC, and NPR. He thanked God that it is the "students, poor, and middle-class of the country that are leading the movement and not any political party."
Let Congress take charge in fight against CAA: Sibal
Separately, Sibal was also quoted as saying by ANI, "When it's about national politics, I think we all must stand together because this is a national legislation." The Congress leader added, "So, we should not be scoring political points. What we need to do is politically come together... fight this battle and let the Congress (nationally) take charge"