The petition said there was arbitrary classification of the illegal migrants as benefits under the new citizenship law were restricted only to migrants into India on account of religious persecution from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afganistan.

Actor Kamal Haasan’s Makkal Needhi Maiam (MNM) party moved the Supreme Court on December 16 against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) for selectively granting citizenship to illegal migrants on the basis of their religion.

The petition was filed even as senior advocates A.M. Singhvi and Kapil Sibal mentioned Congress parliamentarian Jairam Ramesh’s petition against the CAA for urgent hearing. A Bench led by Chief Justice of India S.A. Bobde agreed to hear all the petitions against the CAA on Wednesday (December 18).

The MNM petition, represented by advocates Suresh Iyer and T. Harish Kumar, said the CAA paved the way for admitting illegal migrants in the country on the basis of their religion in violation of Articles 14 and 21 of the Constitution.

“The benefits of naturalisation to the illegal migrants is being extended to certain a class of illegal migrant belonging to the religion of Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis and Christians coming from Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan. Such classification on the basis of religious identity of the individual clearly violates Article 14 and 21 of the Constitution,” the MNM party petition said.

Moreover, the classification based on the religious identity of the individual offended the fundamental principle of secularism, which is part of the basic structure.

The petition said there was arbitrary classification of the illegal migrants as benefits under the new citizenship law were restricted only to migrants into India on account of religious persecution from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afganistan, for which there was no basis and also excludeed refugees from other countries such as Sri Lanka and Myanmar.

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