ITDC INDIA EPRESS/ ITDC NEWS In an unprecedented move, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights on Tuesday approached the Supreme Court seeking to intervene in the hearing on the Citizenship (Amendment) Act. India reacted sharply to the OHCHR move, saying the CAA is an internal matter of the country.
“The Citizenship Amendment Act is an internal matter of India and concerns the sovereign right of the Indian Parliament to make laws,” the Ministry of External Affairs said in a statement.
Earlier, the plea, filed on behalf of Michelle Bachelet Jeria, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, sought to intervene as an amicus curiae (third party) in the matter by virtue of mandate to protect and promote human rights and to conduct necessary advocacy in that regard.
The MEA, however, said no foreign party has any locus standi on issues pertaining to India’s sovereignty.
“We are clear that the CAA is constitutionally valid and complies with all requirements of our constitutional values. It is reflective of our long standing national commitment in respect of human rights issues arising from the tragedy of the Partition of India,” the MEA said.
Asserting that India is a democratic country governed by the rule of law, the MEA said: “We all have utmost respect for and full trust in our independent judiciary. We are confident that our sound and legally sustainable position would be vindicated by the Hon’ble Supreme Court.”
The apex court had on December 18 last year sought response of the Centre on a batch of petitions challenging the constitutional validity of CAA.
The OHCHR, in its plea, said the CAA raised important issues with respect to international human rights law and its application to migrants, including refugees.
The CAA also raises other issues "including its compatibility in relation to the right to equality before the law and non discrimination on nationality grounds under India's human rights obligations", the plea said.
The plea urged the top court to take into account the international human rights law, norms and standards, in the proceedings related to CAA and termed it "important" for India and its diverse communities which have been welcomed by the State.