Nobel laureate Amartya Sen said the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, or CAA, violates constitutional provisions. “The CAA law that has been passed in my judgment should be turned down by the Supreme Court on the grounds of it being unconstitutional because you cannot have certain types of fundamental human rights linking citizenship with religious differences,” Mr Sen told reporters at the Infosys Science Foundation’s Infosys Prize 2019 in Bengaluru.
The Nobel laureate said what really should matter for deciding citizenship is the place a person was born, and where the person has lived.
“My reading of the (amended) law is that it violates the provision of the Constitution,” he said, adding that citizenship on the basis of religion had been a matter of discussion in the constituent assembly where it was decided that “using religion for the purpose of discrimination of this kind will not be acceptable.”
Mr Sen, however, agreed that a Hindu who is persecuted in a country outside India deserves sympathy and his or her case must be taken into account.
“It (consideration for citizenship) has to be independent of religion but take cognisance of the sufferings and other issues into account,” Mr Sen said.
On the mob attack at Delhi’s Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), Mr Sen noted the university administration could not stop outsiders from coming to the campus to lead the attack.
“The communication between the university administration and the police got delayed due to which ill treatment of students went on without being prevented by the law enforcement agencies,” he added.