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IUML moves SC to stay MHA order permitting Indian Citizenship to non-Muslim Minorities from Pakistan, Afghanistan, Bangladesh

The Indian Union Muslim League (IUML), the first complainant in the Supreme Court to question the Citizenship Amendment Act, 2019 (CAA), has sought a stay on the Ministry of Home Affairs’ (MHA) order, which authorized 13 districts throughout three states to award citizenship to non-Muslim minority groups from Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Bangladesh.

IUML has registered a petition in the Supreme Court questioning the Centre’s notification enabling inhabitants of certain districts in Afghanistan, Bangladesh, and Pakistan who are participants of minority groups such as Sikhs, Hindus, Christians, Buddhists, Jains, and Parsis to apply for Indian citizenship. 

Non-Muslim immigrants from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, and Pakistan, including Hindus, Sikhs, Jains, and Buddhists, who reside in 13 districts of Gujarat, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, Haryana, and Punjab, were encouraged to apply for Indian citizenship on Friday under Sections 5 and 6 of the Citizenship Act of 1955.

IUML has indeed filed a petition in the ongoing CAA case, objecting to the announcement on the basis that the mentioned clauses of the Citizenship Act do not enable applicants to be categorized based on religion. The Citizenship Act, Section 5 (1) (a)-(g), specifies who is entitled to obtain citizenship by registration, while Section 6 of the Act enables anybody (who is not an illegal migrant) to gain citizenship through naturalization. According to the IUML’s application, the Respondent Union’s endeavor to bring down the validity of the two articles by an executive order is unconstitutional. 

Furthermore, the application asserted that a cursory reading of the order dated 28.5.2021, as well as the regulations questioned in the prevailing writ petition, namely the Amendment Act, Order 3A of the Foreigners Order 1948, and Rule 4(ha) of the Passport (Entry into India) Rules, 1950, clearly indicates that the three legislations’ motives are one and the same. And therefore, as this Hon’ble Court has recognized in a number of instances, what cannot be done explicitly cannot be done indirectly, and hence the order dated 28.5.2021 should be stayed.

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