New Delhi: A fresh petition was on Friday filed in the Supreme Court by an NGO challenging the Citizenship Amendment Act, 2019, contending that the law renders certain category of children as stateless.
The writ petition moved in the top court by advocate Ezaz Maqbool on behalf of Association for Protection of Civil Rights (APCR), laid special emphasis on children’s rights.
The petition also challenged Section 3(1) of the Citizenship Act, 1955 as arbitrary contending that it “lays down different parameters for granting citizenship to children born in India in different periods”.
It averred that Section 3(1) provides for different treatment to children as per their date of birth and renders certain category of children stateless on the basis of classification on date of birth, which is manifestly arbitrary.
“The petitioners herein are challenging the Impugned Act as well as the Impugned Provisions and the Impugned Notifications, as being violative of Articles 13,14,15,21, 51(c) and 51-A of the Constitution of India,” the petition read.
Further, it said that the treatment of the excluded children as stateless is also violative of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, 1990, to which India is a signatory.
The new citizenship law makes professing of certain religions as a ground of eligibility for the status of citizenship which is against the principle of secularism and is violative of the basic structure of the constitution, the petition added.
Several other petitions have also been filed in the apex court against the newly-enacted law.
The Supreme Court had, on December 18, agreed to hear the petitions challenging the constitutional validity of the act, but had refused to stay its operations.
This comes as the amended citizenship law is facing major opposition and protests have been organised against it across the country.