CAA may potentially violate India’s Constitution, claims US Congress report

CAA may potentially violate India’s Constitution, claims US Congress report

A report from the Congressional Research Service (CRS) of the US Congress suggests that India's Citizenship Amendment Act could contravene the Indian Constitution. The Act, which grants citizenship to non-Muslim migrants from certain countries, has been criticized for potentially risking the rights of Muslims in India.


An independent research wing of the US Congress has recently shared a report which states that certain provisions of the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) might potentially violate India’s Constitution. 

The CAA was enacted this year and implemented in March, around four years after being cleared by the Parliament. It amends the 1955 Citizenship Act and enables the granting of citizenship to undocumented migrants from Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Afghanistan who are non-Muslim and arrived in India before December 31, 2014.

The Congressional Research Service (CRS) report underscores that the CAA could jeopardise the rights of Muslims in India in case it is coupled with a planned National Register of Citizens (NRC). It also states, "The CAA’s key provisions — allowing immigrants of six religions from three countries a path to citizenship while excluding Muslims — may violate certain Articles of the Indian Constitution."

Moreover, the study also underlines that people who oppose the CAA are aware that the same was implemented amidst BJP’s second national re-election campaign and was politically motivated. It also stresses that people are aware that BJP "pursuing a Hindu majoritarian, anti-Muslim agenda that threatens India’s status as an officially secular republic and violates international human rights norms and obligations".

The study also cites critics and contends, "...With the CAA designed to protect only members of 'approved' religions, others will have little recourse, thus forwarding alleged Modi-BJP efforts to undermine India's secular ethos and establish what one senior observer calls 'an ethnic democracy that equates the [Hindu] majoritarian community with the nation' and relegates others to second-class status."

An independent research arm of the US Congress, the CRS does not represent official congressional views but presents reports to aid congressional decision-making.

India has however dismissed criticism and maintained that CAA aims at granting citizenship. The Centre had also issued a statement assuring that no citizen of the country would lose their citizenship as a result of this legislation.

It may also be mentioned that the Biden administration had earlier expressed its concerns regarding the notification of the Act in India, stating that it is monitoring the implementation of the contentious law closely.

Edited By: Avantika
Published On: Apr 22, 2024