Kerala Governor Arif Mohammad Khan on Sunday sought a report from Chief Secretary Tom Jose about the Left Democratic Front government’s decision to challenge the Citizenship Amendment Act in Supreme Court, PTI reported. On Thursday, Khan had expressed displeasure at the government’s decision to approach the top court without consulting him.
The Kerala government filed a plea against the citizenship law in the Supreme Court on January 14 – the first state to do so. The court will hear around 60 pleas against the amended law on January 22.
On Thursday, Khan suggested that he would also examine whether a state was allowed to approach the court without its governor’s permission. “The constitutional head of the state is getting to know about this through newspapers that the state government is challenging a law passed by the Parliament,” he said.
On Sunday, the governor told reporters in Thiruvananthapuram that he would not remain a “mute spectator”. “The Constitution has to be upheld and this is not a personal fight,” he added. “I will not sit like a mute spectator... will ensure that the rules and law are upheld.”
The Citizenship Amendment Act, approved by Parliament on December 11 and notified on January 10, provides citizenship to refugees from six minority religious communities from Bangladesh, Afghanistan and Pakistan, provided they have lived in India for six years and entered the country by December 31, 2014. The Act has been widely criticised for excluding Muslims. Twenty-six people were killed in last month’s nationwide protests against the law – 19 people died in Uttar Pradesh alone. The police have been accused of using excessive force.