Home >Opinion >Quick Edit >Opinion | India can’t escape the world’s glare

The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights has filed an intervention application at the Supreme Court over the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA). Michelle Bachelet Jeria, who holds that post, has sought to intervene as an amicus curiae, an aid of the court, in cases pending before it on the controversial law.

Jeria’s concern, it has been made clear, relates to whether the CAA’s exclusion of Muslims from its naturalization regime squares with the principle of equality under the law, which the country is sworn to uphold. The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, for example, prohibits discrimination on racial, ethnic and religious grounds, and India is committed to its provisions. Further, the application cites the Global Compact for Safe, Regular and Orderly Migration, which commits India to ensuring human rights in migratory matters.

In response, the ministry of external affairs has said that the law is “an internal matter of India". It has also said that “no foreign party has any locus standi on issues pertaining to India’s sovereignty". Legal experts say that this is indeed the first issue that would have to be taken up by the country’s top court, the question of locus standi. Whether or not the apex court admits Jeria’s plea, it is undeniable that anxiety runs high within India over what the law implies for adherents of Islam. This being so, it will probably get harder and harder for India’s citizenship policy to stay out of the world’s glare.

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