Law and Citizenship

Law and Citizenship

#NRC: Four million unanswered questions

Excluded names do not belong to a single community or religion, these are a combination of communities — both Muslims and Hindus of Bengali descent, besides Hindi and Nepalese-speaking persons, as well as tribals — with high percentages comprising women, children and daily wage workers having little or no formal education. The glaring lapses in the exercise being undertaken in Assam and the lack of rationality in the exclusion of individuals, stand as a warning bell for any similar process to be implemented in any other part of the country.

November 5,2018

Law and Citizenship

NRC: Towards the tipping point?

The overarching challenge to Section 6A of the Citizenship Act, 1955 itself is currently pending adjudication before a five-judge Constitution Bench, raising a total 13 questions and striking at the root of the Assam Accord 1985. The policy prerogative of the Union Government to either grant or withdraw citizenship to any class of persons will inevitably come under the scanner. The stand of the Union must shift from divisive electoral rhetoric and be subjected to the constitutional test.

October 31,2018

Law and Citizenship

Chasing shadows of citizenship

The Supreme Court has held that the purpose of the exercise of the creation of the NRC in the State of Assam was not the determination of which person is an ‘original inhabitant’, but the sole test for inclusion in the NRC is that of citizenship under the Constitution of India and the Citizenship Act 1955. However, the constitutionality of Section 6A of the Citizenship Act 1955 was challenged in 2012 by way of a writ petition under Article 32 in the Supreme Court. The matter is currently pending before a Constitution Bench of five judges.

August 1,2018

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