A petition has been filed by a non-governmental organisation, Samta Andolan Samiti, challenging the practice of state assemblies passing resolutions criticising central laws such as the Citizenship Amendment Act, 2019 and the three agricultural laws.
The petition filed by the Rajasthan based NGO has contended that the State Legislative Assemblies of Rajasthan, Bengal, Punjab and Kerala have infringed upon the fundamental rights of citizens after adopting resolutions criticising the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019 (CAA) even after it was passed by both the Houses of the Parliament and received Presidential assent, as reported by Deccan Herald.
As per some media reports, the top court Bench headed by Chief Justice of India SA Bobde asked the Senior Advocate Soumya Chakraborty (appearing for the petitioner NGO) to do some more research on this topic and file a modified petition.
LiveLaw quoted the CJI orally observing, “Do they (States) have no right to express an opinion?” when the Senior Counsel Chakraborty referred to the resolution passed by the Kerala assembly against the Citizenship Amendment Act in December 2019.
The CJI remarked, “This is the opinion of members of Kerala assembly. They have not told people to disobey the law. They have only requested the Parliament to abrogate the law. It is only an opinion expressed by the Kerala assembly, which has no force of law.”
Chakraborty continued to argue that the State assembly has no jurisdiction to comment about a central law like CAA but the CJI said, “We are with you if you say that Kerala Assembly has no jurisdiction to set aside the law made by the Parliament. But do they have no right to express an opinion?”, reported LiveLaw.
The Senior Counsel also tried to contend that Rule 109 of the Kerala Assembly procedure deals with the admissibility of resolutions and according to this rule, a resolution should not relate to a matter which is primarily not the concern of the State. The CJI disagreed and asked, “How can you say this is not a concern of the state?”
Since there was no precedent set to this effect, the Bench asked Soumya Chakraborty to delve deeper into the subject. The Telegraph quoted the CJI saying, “There must be a precedent. Check up and tell us. Do some research and let us know. We don’t want to create more problems than solving.”
As reported by The Hindu, around 140 petitions challenging the Citizenship Amendment Act have been pending for over a year with March 3, 2020, being the last date when the matter was heard in the top court.
The petitions against CAA have argued that a law that welcomes illegal migrants into India selectively on the basis of their religion, is against the ideals of secularism, right to equality and dignity of life enshrined in the Constitution of India.
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