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Citizenship to Bangladeshi migrants in Assam creates voting right, Jamiat-Ulema-e-Hind tells SC

New Delhi: The government's decision to grant citizenship to Bangladeshi immigrants in Assam has also created political rights for them including the right to vote, the Jamiat-Ulema-e-Hind (JUH) on Monday told the Supreme Court.

A Bangladeshi woman and her daughter sit in a crowded police van in Howrah. Reuters

A Bangladeshi woman and her daughter sit in a crowded police van in Howrah. Reuters

The Muslim organisation told the apex court that Section 6A of the Indian Citizenship Act was enacted in view of a policy decision taken by the Centre by signing the Assam Accord which was a settlement arrived at after consultation and concurrence of all the stakeholders, including Assam and the agitators.

It said the provision intended to give a "quietus" to the issue of foreigners in Assam and restore peace and normalcy in the state resulting in the conferment of citizenship right to lakhs of people.

"If this court upholds the challenge to Section 6-A, the ongoing exercise of updating the National Register of Citizens (NRC) will be rendered futile.

"Such a verdict would also have ramifications on the international obligations of India, such as the one stipulated in Article 15 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights," JUH said in its 36-page written submissions submitted to a five-judge bench headed by Justice Madan B Lokur.

The submissions were made in response to issues framed by apex court which is examining the constitutional validity of various aspects of a provision of the Citizenship Act 1955, including the cut-off date for awarding citizenship to Bangladeshi immigrants in Assam.

A five-judge bench had said it would deal with 13 questions related to the constitutional validity of section 6A of the Act, which were referred to it for consideration by a two-judge bench in December 2014.

The apex court had asked the Centre and other parties concerned, including the Assam government, to file their written submissions in the matter by May 1 and fixed the matter for hearing on May 8.


Published Date: May 01, 2017 22:10 PM | Updated Date: May 01, 2017 22:10 PM

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