The misinformation over the Citizenship Amendment Act propagated by the liberals has created much unrest in the country. Senior advocate Harish Salve writing for Times of India has demolished every claim made by the liberals against the CAA.
Harish Salve, who has served as India’s Solicitor General from 1999 to 2002 was recently appointed as the Queen’s Counsel for the courts of England and Wales. The title of QC is awarded to those who have demonstrated particular skill and expertise in the conduct of advocacy. Salve delivered an outstanding victory for India at the ICJ against Pakistan in Kulbhushan Jadhav’s case. Pakistan had sought dismissal of the application by India which demanded a suspension of the death sentence given to Jadhav by Pakistan’s military kangaroo courts. Notably, while Salve reportedly charges around 30 Lakh rupees for daily appearances in courts on behalf of his clients, in this case, he charged a meagre Re. 1 from the Government of India.
Harish Salve who had earlier appeared on Times Now and vociferously defended the Citizenship Amendment Bill has now again taken the liberals to the cleaners as he takes them down fact by fact. Right from the start Salve clarifies how does a country define citizenship. He writes: “The citizenship of a country is presently based on similar principles followed in almost all countries governed by the rule of law. Citizenship is acquired by birth, descent, naturalisation or by acquisition of territories. Those who seek to enter a country without its permission are illegal migrants and are liable to be deported.”
Salve points out a rarely known fact that the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill 2016 was first introduced in the Lok Sabha on 19 July 2016 and was subsequently referred to a joint committee of both Houses of Parliament, which presented its report on 4 January 2019 and recommended the bill.
NRC has emerged as the favourite tool of the liberals to spread rumours against the government as the liberals strive to project PM Modi as a reincarnation of Adolf Hitler. Salve in his article says that the Rules for the creation of a national register of Indian citizens were framed back in 2003, to be written up after carrying out throughout the country a house-to-house enumeration and in which doubtful cases were to be noted separately for further enquiry. He writes that: “These Rules have been in place for the last 16 years but are yet to be operationalised.”
The liberals and the Islamists continue to cry foul over the fact that only the persecuted minorities from the three Islamic nations are covered and they continue to demand that the scope of the CAA be increased to include the persecuted Muslims too. To this accusation, Salve had the best answer. He wrote that he fails to understand how a law that is meant to benefit the persecuted minorities can be dubbed as discriminatory on the porous ground that the legislation could have created a wider class. He added: “The principle of equality does not mean that every law must have universal application. The principle of equality does not take away from the state the power of making classifications. If a law deals equally with members of a defined class, it is not open to the charge of denial of equal protection on the ground that it has no application to other persons.” He further added that India may well do away with its borders if the CAA allowed members of all religious communities from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan to migrate into India.
He also hit out at those asking for an intervention by the Supreme Court. Salve claimed that the SC has repeatedly refused to interfere in the matter and he further added that even if the court thinks that they are better for India, the elected government must be left to determine which of many possible schemes is the best. In a passionate defence of the CAA, Salve further wrote: “Do we really need proof that minorities are persecuted in these Islamic republics? How can Parliament be faulted for coming to a conclusion that such minorities in the three named neighbours need to be protected?”
He hit out at all those people who call the CAA unconstitutional as he brought to light an important fact. Salve reminded the readers that the Indian Constitution confers special rights upon members of minority religious communities in India and hence classification on the basis of religion is not unconstitutional.
Finally, Harish Salve addresses the biggest accusation against the Central government that it wants to throw all the Muslims out of India. In a befitting reply, Salve wrote: “The loudest criticism relates to the supposed intention of the government to throw all Muslims out of India. There is no law, rule or notification published – or even a draft circulated – that would suggest that the government has any such intent. The Prime Minister has denied it. If any procedure put in place requires Muslims alone all over India to prove their citizenship in a manner more onerous than that applicable to any other community, such a procedure would be unconstitutional.”
If a legal luminary like Harish Salve repeatedly asserts the constitutional validity of the CAA, then the propagandists and the liberals have no locus standi and it only exposes their nefarious agenda.