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Citizenship Amendment Bill violates fundamental right to equality says Shashi Tharoor

Shashi Tharoor submitted the notice this morning under Rule 72 of the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in Lok Sabha

New Delhi: On Monday senior Congress leader Shashi Tharoor submitted a notice in the Lok Sabha to oppose the Citizenship Amendment Bill at the introduction stage on the grounds that it “violates” the fundamental right to equality.

Shashi Tharoor submitted the notice this morning under Rule 72 of the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in Lok Sabha.

In his notice, Tharoor said “The Bill violates the Fundamental Right to Equality prescribed by Article 14 since it infringes upon the principle of “equality before the law” and the “equal protection of laws” guaranteed to everybody, including non-citizens,”.

He added, “The Bill initialize the idea of religious discrimination by allowing individuals of only six religious identities to acquire citizenship while excluding the individuals belonging to other religious identities,”.

Shashi Tharoor argued that beyond the legislative competence of the House to enact a “legislation of this nature” since Article 13 clearly states that “the State shall not make any law which takes away or abridges the rights conferred” by Part III of the Constitution.

Mentioning these reasons, Tharoor said he wishes to oppose the proposed Bill and request the permission of the Speaker, to detailed upon these submissions before the House in a “full discussion” so that the motion for introduction is not allowed, the notice read.

The Citizenship Amendment Bill seeks to grant Indian citizenship to non-Muslim refugees from Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Afghanistan escaping religious persecution there.

The Congress has said it will oppose “tooth and nail” the Bill in Parliament as it is against India’s Constitution and its secular ethos.

On Sunday, Tharoor had said the passage of the Bill will mark the definitive victory of Mohammed Ali Jinnah’s thinking over that of Mahatma Gandhi’s, declaring that the exercise of granting citizenship on the basis of religion will reduce India to a “Hindutva version of Pakistan”.

He has alleged that the BJP government wants to single out “one community” and refuses to grant its members asylum from oppression on the same conditions as other communities.

Tharoor said even if the CAB is passed by both the Houses of Parliament, he is confident that no bench of the Supreme Court will allow such a “blatant violation” of the fundamental principle of India’s Constitution not examined.

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