The Congress on Wednesday claimed that the Citizenship (Amendment) Act not only “violates” provisions of the Constitution but also falls afoul of an international convention to which India is a signatory.
Addressing a press conference, Congress MP and lawyer Abhishek Manu Singhvi said tIndia was a signatory to the international convention on torture that talks about “providing shelter to people who face torture in another country”. “India is bound by the principle of jus cogens that ensures human rights to those who are tortured and persecuted,” Mr. Singhvi told mediapersons.
He also pointed out that this law would have serious implications in terms of international relations, especially with friendly neighbours such as Bangladesh.
The Congress leader also reiterated the party’s contention that the new law violated regional agreements like the Assam Accord and one signed with the former rebels in Tripura.
Mr. Singhvi also clarified that the petitions filed by Congress leaders never sought a “stay” from the Supreme Court but only asked that a “show cause” notice be issued to the Union government.
Interestingly, former Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi, a trained lawyer, also donned his lawyer’s robe after three-and-a-half decades to assist senior counsel and party colleague, P. Chidambaram in the top court.
In another development, the Congress has decided to hold ‘Save India, Save Constitution’ marches with flags across the country to protest against the new citizenship law.
“The flag marches are aimed at registering a strong protest against the anti-people policies of Prime Minister Narendra Modi - Home Minister Amit Shah led BJP government which has resulted in massive unemployment, economic slowdown, unprecedented price rise and atrocities against women,” general secretary K. C. Venugopal said in a statement.
“Divisive policies of the BJP government like Citizenship (Amendment) Act and brutal police crackdown on protesting students and citizens will also be taken up, which are aimed at diverting the attention from the burning issues affecting the common people,” Mr. Venugopal added in the statement.