16 December, 2019
Syllabus subtopic: Indian Constitution- historical underpinnings, evolution, features, amendments, significant provisions and basic structure
Prelims and Mains focus: about various judgements cited and their significance
News: The dozen or so petitions filed against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019, trace a series of Supreme Court judgments in which the court stood up for the dignity of the individual against the “tyranny of the majority”.
What do these judgements say?
These Constitution Bench judgments, which range from the decriminalisation of homosexuality to striking down triple talaq, hold that the State cannot discriminate on the basis of an intrinsic and core identity of an individual. Being Muslim is part of a person’s core identity and dignity. It cannot be the basis for discrimination for granting citizenship, they argue.
“Destruction of individual identity would tantamount to crushing of intrinsic dignity that cumulatively encapsulates the values of privacy, choice, freedom of speech and other expressions,” the Constitution Bench held.
It reminded that religion, race, caste, sex or place of birth were intrinsic and core elements of an individual’s identity under Article 15.
They contend that the amendments classify illegal migrants from Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh as those who are Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, Parsi or Christian on one side, and those who are Muslim on the other. The amendments provide benefitts to illegal migrants who practise any of the six faiths and excludes Muslims.
Source: The Hindu
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