Tuesday, June 15, 2021
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By filing suit against CAA, Communists in Kerala have ensured that they will be remembered for opposing justice for persecuted minorities

The arguments against the constitutionality of the CAA are not convincing enough. However, it is going to be interesting to see what the Supreme Court decided in this Kerala v. Union dispute.

Govt of the state of Kerala has filed a suit against the Union of India challenging the constitutional validity of the Citizenship Amendment Act 2019 (CAA), Passport (Entry to India) Amendment Rules 2015 and Foreigner order 2015. The suit is filed under Article 131 of the constitution which provides for original jurisdiction of the Supreme court. Under this Article, the Supreme Court is empowered to decide disputes between the Union govt and state govts or between two or more states. Both the impugned Act and Rules are challenged on the ground that they violate article 14,21 and 25 of Indian constitution and are violative of the principle of secularism which is a basic feature of the constitution.

Such an original suit can be filed by a state against the Union if there is a dispute between the two which involves any question of fact or law on which existence or extent of a legal right depends.

Kerala is the first state to have filed a suit against the CAA. No other state has challenged the said Act in any court of law yet. Kerala state assembly had earlier passed a resolution against the CAA. Such resolution has no force as the state assembly has no right to deny enforcement of a law passed by parliament. Citizenship being a subject in the Union list, the parliament of India is absolutely competent to make laws on the same. All states are bound by any laws made by parliament and have to take all necessary steps for enforcement of such law. There are reports that Kerala CM Pinarayee Vijayan has written to all the non-BJP chief ministers urging them to take similar steps against the CAA.

The arguments against the constitutionality of the CAA are not convincing enough. However, it is going to be interesting to see what the Supreme Court decided in this Kerala v. Union dispute.

Pinarayee Vijayan hails from the Communist Party of India (Marxist). Communists have had a bloody history all over the world. From Stalin to Mao and to Naxalites in India, the followers of this ideology have always tried to seize power using violence and persecuting those who have different opinions. Even today, several RSS karyakartas have had to lose their lives only because they did not believe in communism and they had their own ideology. So, it is naïve of us to expect that a Communist govt would ever support a law doing justice to persecuted minorities. By filing this suit challenging CAA and by painting this law as anti-Muslim, the Kerala govt has resorted to Muslim appeasement and divisive politics. Whatever the outcome of this litigation may be, Pinarayee Vijayan needs to know that the whole nation is watching and is going to remember how the Communist party did not stand in solidarity with the nation in doing justice to the persecuted minorities from our neighbouring countries.

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Shriya Gune
Advocate. Currently practising in the Bombay High Court at Mumbai.

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