The State of Kerala filed a lawsuit against India in the India Supreme Court on Tuesday alleging that the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) violates the constitution.
Kerala alleges that the CAA results “in classifications based on religion and based on country, both classifications being apparently and manifestly discriminatory.” Article 14 of the constitution prohibits discrimination by the government.
The CAA, passed in December, allows Buddhist, Christian, Hindu, Jain, Parsi and Sikh migrants from Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan, a path to legal citizenship in India. In addition, the CAA applies to those who entered India on or before December 31, 2014, and those who “face religious persecution or fear religious persecution” in the countries listed.
Kerala alleges the CAA does not fulfill its stated purpose, which is to protect religious minorities from persecution. This is so because religious minorities from the countries listed as well as religious minorities from other neighboring countries are not included. For example, Rohingya Muslims from Myanmar, Christians from Bhutan, and Ahmadiyyas and Shias from Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan.
Kerala is seeking a judgement from the court to declare the CAA to be void and to be in violation of the constitution, particularly Articles 14, 21 and 25.