New Delhi – Former Solicitor General Harish Salve expressing his opinion in favour of the Citizenship Amendment Act said the principle of equality does not mean that every law must have universal application. Adv. Salve also represented India in the International Court in Hague in the case of Kulbhushan Jadhav and won it. He charged a nominal fee of Rs. 1 which shows his patriotism.
Adv. Salve in an article said the principle of equality would not result in taking away the power of making classification from the state.
“If a law deals equally with members of a defined class, it is not open to the charge of denial of equal protection on the ground that it has no application to other persons”, said Adv. Salve citing that CAA’s avowed objective is to enable conferment of Indian citizenship upon members of minority communities who hail from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, and Pakistan. He rubbished criticism against CAA being anti-Muslim.
Adv. Salve said there is no law, rule or notification published – or even a draft circulated – which would suggest that the Government has any intent, which is to send Muslims out from India.
“The Prime Minister has denied it. If any procedure put in place requires Muslims alone all over India to prove their citizenship in a manner more onerous than that applicable to any other community, such a procedure would be unconstitutional”, he added.
Adv. Salve insisted that classification on the basis of religion is not per se unconstitutional, as the Constitution confers special rights upon members of minority religious communities in India.
He said if the law was broader and allowed members of all religious communities from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan to migrate into India, then there was no need for borders.