At a time when the Citizenship Amendment Act is the most-talked subject in India at present, renowned Supreme Court advocate Harish Salve has once again grabbed the headlines after expressing his views on the CAA. He has come forward to defend the new citizenship law.
Harish Salve has recently written an article with respect to CAA on the website of Times of India, in which he has not only provided all the necessary information related to CAA but has also shown a mirror to those who instigated Muslims for violent protests against the new citizenship law.
Mr. Salve said that he fails to comprehend why the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) is being “condemned as discriminatory”. Targeting opposition Salve said that the CAA is not anti-Muslim and does not violet Article 14, 15 or even 21 of the constitution. According to Salve, CAA is the need of the hour which should have been brought years ago.
Being one of the most powerful lawyers in India, Salve fought Kulbhushan Jadhav’s case at the International Court of Justice in the Hague, the Netherlands and got the verdict in favour of India.
Harish Salve, while targeting anti-CAA protesters, said that those who refer to the CAA as unconstitutional may not have knowledge of the Constitution.
Protest against the citizenship law turned communal violence in the north-east Delhi, in which more than 45 people have been killed and several others injured.
Expressing his opinion through an editorial piece in The Times Of India titled ‘CAA is necessary’, Salve made it clear that the CAA is neither discriminatory nor unconstitutional. Salve said, “Those who enter a country without its permission are illegal citizens and are liable to be deported.”
He further added, “I fail to understand how a law which is designed to confer the benefit on an identified class of persons, and which identification is based on a rational criterion, can be condemned as being discriminatory on the ground that the legislation could have created a wider class.”
India’s one of the most expensive lawyers, salve said that the principle of equality does not mean that every law must have universal application. Even as the Supreme Court has refused to strike down the new citizenship law.
Salve also questioned, “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?”
When he was asked that this new law is against Muslims in India, Salve clarified, “The Prime Minister has denied it.” However, he also said if any procedure is put in place for Muslims to prove their citizenship then that procedure would be unconstitutional.
According to the survey conducted by TheYouth, 74% of Indians have supported the Citizenship Amendment Act, while 26% of Indians are against the act.
Home Minister Amit Shah has already made it clear that this bill is only for persecuted minorities who faced persecution in neighboring countries. The bill grants citizenship to minorities from Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Afghanistan, who have come to India before 2014, and Indian citizens or Muslims need not worry about the Citizenship Bill as they will not be asked to produce any document to prove citizenship.
Harish is one of the most reputed and expensive lawyers globally. Mr. Salve was originally a CA (Chartered Accountant). But later on, he turned a lawyer- probably inspired by his grandfather who was in the same profession. His grandfather was a well-known lawyer.