Supreme Court seeks Centre's reply in petition challenging National Population Register circular
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Supreme Court seeks Centre's reply in petition challenging National Population Register circular

The Supreme Court is likely to hear this plea along with the batch of petitions challenging the validity of the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019.

Shruti Mahajan

The Supreme Court today issued notice and sought the Centre's reply in the petition challenging the notification on the National Population Register (NPR).

The petition challenges the validity of the circulars issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs dated July 31, 2019, by which the government directed for the preparation of the NPR between April and September 2020.

These circulars, along with the newly notified and contentious Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019 (CAA), have been assailed in this petition as being ultra vires the provisions of the Constitution of India.

The Bench of Chief Justice of India SA Bobde with Justices BR Gavai and Surya Kant today sought a response from the Centre on the same.

The Court is scheduled to hear a batch of petitions challenging the validity of the CAA on January 22, on which date this petition is also likely to be taken up.

Supreme Court seeks Centre's reply in petition challenging National Population Register circular

The petition filed by NGO Minority Front assails the MHA notifications on NPR for violating the principles of "Constitutional morality" as well as being ultra vires Articles 14, 21, 25, and 51. The plea adds,

The impugned circulars and the Amendment Act are ultra vires the Constitution of India... and directly hit the basic structure by undermining the principles of secularism, equality (and non-arbitrariness), dignity of life and liberty, pluralism, keeping of international peace and harmony.
Petition filed by NGO Minority Front

The CAA has also been challenged on the grounds that Sections 2, 3, 5, and 6 of the Amendment Act go against the provisions enshrined under Articles 14, 21, and 25 of the Constitution.

The petitioner has also highlighted the link between the exercise of NPR and the impact of CAA to state that the NPR would form the basis for preparing the National Register of Indian Citizens (or the nationwide NRC). The NRC is envisaged under Section 14A of the Citizenship Act of 1955 and Rule 3 of the Citizenship Rules of 2003.

The joint effect of the impugned amendment and the Rules is that lakhs of the bonafide Indians are at risk of being declared 'doubtful citizens' with the gross injustice of only adherents of Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Parsi, Jain, and Christians still being given Citizenship under the deeming fiction of refuge from religious persecution.

Petition filed by NGO Minority Front

ISRARUL HOQUE VS UOI.pdf
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