Faizan Mustafa, VC, NALSAR University of Law
Citizenship (Amendment) Act goes against constitutional vision and is
unreasonable and arbitrary, Faizan Mustafa, vice-chancellor of NALSAR
University of Law, tells ET Bureau. Edited excerpts:
Opposition argues that the Citizenship (Amendment) Act or CAA is
CAA goes against the constitutional vision. This classification is not a
reasonable classification because, one, it does not cover all the neighbouring
countries. Two, it does not cover all persecuted minorities. The CAA is neither
based on a reasonable classification nor does it have a rational object or just
object to achieve. Three, it is arbitrary.
BJP says Article 14 allows classification?
are right. It allows classification but the classification must be reasonable.
And a classification must have a rationale and just object to achieve. And it
must be non-arbitrary.
three tests must be satisfied. In my opinion, CAA does not satisfy these tests.
happens if CAA is challenged in the Supreme Court?
will definitely be challenged. The court will generally refer it to a
constitutional bench and it will not be promptly decided. Unless the court
takes a bold stand and stays it, this law will be implemented, in my opinion.
do you look at the apprehensions around CAA, seen along with the National
Register of Citizens (NRC)?
government declares it is not going ahead with the NRC, CAA is welcome. In NRC,
when people get excluded, how will you include them? If people start getting
punished for not having documents or discrepancies in documents, we are heading
towards a disaster because poor and illiterate people don’t have documents. I
think the nation, with these unnecessary steps, is not going in the right
direction, particularly when our economy is going through a bad patch.
do you have to say about the apprehensions of Muslims about CAA?
apprehensions are genuine. The CAA in itself may not be bad but, read with NRC;
it is a dangerous proposition, not only for Muslims but also for Hindus. Poor
Hindus will be equally affected, like it happened in Assam.
are going to be equally excluded and targeted and they all will stop working.
They will all be searching for documents; they will be bribing people to get
national productivity, GDP, will suffer. It is an injustice to ask people to
prove their citizenship on the basis of documents and get excluded if there is
a small discrepancy.
Headline: Citizenship law fails three tests of classification: Faizan Mustafa,
VC, NALSAR University of Law
The Economic Times