Bhim Army chief Chandrashekhar Azad, Swami Agnivesh and former Chairperson of the National Minority Commission Wajahat Habibullah have filed a petition against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), the National Register of Citizens (NRC) and the National Population Register (NPR).

The petition filed through advocate Mehmood Pracha said that the CAA, which has been brought into force vide notification dated January 10, 2020, is only a step leading to the promulgation of the NRC with the clear intent of placing all the backward sections of citizens including Muslims into detention centres and removing them from the mainstream, thereby destroying the existing fabric of the nation.

"Citizenship Amendment Act, 2019 is arbitrary, irrational, devoid of intelligible differentia and has no nexus with the object and the purpose sought to be achieved by the Citizenship Act, 1955. There is no cogent or sustainable reason to amend the Citizenship Act, 1955, which confers citizenship on the basis of descent, birth, registration, naturalization and not by virtue of religion," the plea says.

It further says that the amended Citizenship Act creates a classification based on religion, thereby violating the basic structure of the Constitution.

"The classification made by the Citizenship Amendment Act, 2019 is arbitrary and devoid of any legal basis in so far as it covers certain persons belonging to few specific religions i.e. Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, Christian and Parsis while excluding Muslims," the plea stated.

Earlier in the day, the Apex Court heard several petitions related to CAA and asked the Centre to file a reply in four weeks.
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