Congress leader Kapil Sibbal on Saturday admitted that it is unconstitutional for states to refuse to implement the Citizenship Amendment Act. He said, it is now the responsibility of the states to implement laws passed by the Parliament and there is no option to refuse it.
Several states including Kerala, Punjab, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, West Bengal, and Maharashtra have opposed the National Civil Register (NRC) and National Population Registration (NPR) besides the CAA. The Kerala government has also moved to the Supreme Court against the CAA.
#WATCH Senior Congress leader Kapil Sibal in Kozhikode, Kerala: Constitutionally, it will be difficult for any state government to say that ‘I will not follow a law passed by Parliament’. #CitizenshipAmendmentAct pic.twitter.com/tNeSt5h0e5Advertisement
— ANI (@ANI) January 18, 2020
But former Law and Justice Minister and well-known lawyer Kapil Sibbal bluntly stated that states do not have the authority to not implement it. During the Kerala Literature Festival, Sibal said, “When the CAA has passed, no state can say that I will not implement it.” This is not possible and is unconstitutional. ‘
He further said, ‘You can oppose CAA. Can pass a resolution in the Legislative Assembly. May demand withdrawal of the law from the central government. But constitutionally cannot say that states will not implement it. Doing so will cause more problems. ‘
Kapil Sibbal said that the states said that they would not allow the state officials to cooperate with the Union of India. How would they do that? He said, ‘NRC is based on NPR and local registrars will implement NPR. Now local registrars have to be appointed from the community in which the enumeration is to be done and they will be state-level officials.’
Sibbal said that he does not know how it is possible practically but it is very difficult constitutionally to say by a state government that it will not implement the law passed by the Parliament.
Kapil Sibbal called the nationwide agitation against the CAA a fight between the leader and the people of India. He said that thank God that the ‘students, poor and middle class’ movement of the country is taking forward and not any political party.
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