PIL filed in Supreme Court challenging laws regularising entry of persecuted communities on basis of religion
A public interest litigation (PIL) has been filed in the Supreme Court, seeking direction to strike down the Passport (Entry into India) Amendment Rules, 2015, which regularise the entry and stay of immigrants in India
New Delhi: A public interest litigation (PIL) has been filed in the Supreme Court, seeking direction to strike down the Passport (Entry into India) Amendment Rules, 2015, which regularise the entry and stay of immigrants in India.
The petition filed by the 'Nagarikatwa Aain Songsudhan Birodhi Mancha' (Forum against Citizenship Act Amendment Bill), has termed "communally altered humanitarianism" the Passport Amendment Rules. The plea is likely to come up for hearing before the top court the next week.
The PIL challenged the rules and notifications that regularise the entry and stay in India of people from six communities, which claim to be victims of religious persecution in their own countries.
The petition sought direction for the Centre to constitute National Immigration Commission to frame a National Immigration Policy and a National Refugee Policy.
The plea challenged the Passport (Entry into India) Amendment Rules, 2015, the Foreigners (Amendment) Order, 2015, and subordinate orders notified by the government which allow the naturalisation of illegal immigrants who are Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis, and Christians, fleeing religious persecution from Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan.
The petitioner has claimed that these rules are "discriminatory, arbitrary and illegal" and urged it to strike them down as they are ultra-vires the Constitution of India.
The Passport Amendment Rules exempt from the requirement of a passport to enter India, people belonging to minority communities in Bangladesh and Pakistan, that is, Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis, and Christians. The rules said that these people should have entered India on or before 31 December, 2014.
"The illegal immigrants who are to be granted the benefit of this legislation are to qualify for citizenship only on the basis of religion; a requirement that goes against one of the basic tenets of the Indian Constitution, secularism," the petitioner states.
The PIL further claimed that the leeway would pave a way to the "uncontrolled influx" of illegal migrants from Bangladesh to Assam. This move of the government differentiate "illegal immigrants" on the basis of their religion and grant them naturalisation as "communally motivated humanitarianism", the petition further contended.
"The Centre should take effective steps for conservation and preservation of the distinct culture, heritage and traditions of the indigenous people of Assam in furtherance to Clause 6 of the Assam Accord and also its commitments given in the several United Nations International Covenants," the plea urged.
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