"Thank God Amit Shah Not A Judge": Kapil Sibal On Citizenship Bill

Kapil Sibal said the Congress will challenge the CAB in the Supreme Court

New Delhi:

The Citizenship Amendment Bill (CAB) is unconstitutional and the court will decide on its validity, Congress leader Kapil Sibal said today, hours after the first petition challenging the proposed law was filed in the Supreme Court. Kapil Sibal is representing the Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) in its petition before the Supreme Court.

"If the Home Minister says this bill is valid, thank God he isn't a judge in Supreme Court. Merely because he says it is valid doesn't make it valid. We believe it's unconstitutional and the court will decide," Mr Sibal said, asked whether the Congress would be next to approach the Supreme Court against the CAB.

Mr Sibal said the bill would not have been brought by the government if the 19 lakh left out of the Assam National Register of Citizens (NRC) - the revised population list - did not have a large number of Hindus.

"The BJP did not realise a large section of the 19 lakh who were not part of the NRC would be Hindus. Had they been Muslims, the bill would not have come. They tried to approach the Supreme Court but the court said no. So what was the way out? The only way was to have a CAB," Mr Sibal said.

The citizenship bill, which enables non-Muslims from Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh to become citizens of India, is close to becoming law after being cleared by both houses of parliament.

The bill has sparked massive protests in Assam and other northeastern states, where people are worried that the demographics will change if immigrants from neighbouring Bangladesh are legitimized.