Kerala Governor Arif Mohammad Khan on Monday refused to accept the state government’s rationale for challenging the Citizenship Amendment Act in the Supreme Court, Mathrubhumi reported. On Sunday, Khan had sought a report from the Left Democratic Front government for filing the petition in the top court without consulting him.
Chief Secretary Tom Jose met Khan to explain the Pinarayi Vijayan administration’s position. However, Khan said no justification was acceptable. “It is neither clash of ego nor personal differences,” the governor added. “My request is, as citizens of a country where we have democracy and rule of law, our duty is to abide by Constitution and law.” However, he did not reveal the explanation Jose had provided.
The governor said the state’s decision to approach the Supreme Court without informing him was a violation of the law. “I will not allow constitutional establishment to collapse in the state,” he added.
The Citizenship Amendment Act, passed by Parliament on December 11, 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 died in last month’s protests against the law – all in the Bharatiya Janata Party-ruled states of Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka, and Assam.