Citizenship Amendment Act, since its passage, has seen protest across India. Kerala, Punjab state governments have passed a resolution not to implement it in their respective states.
Also read: What is CAA?
According to media reports, even Maharastra is planning to pass resolution in the legislative assembly against CAA. Chattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, West Bengal, Assam, among other state governments have announced not to implement CAA.
Citizenship comes under Union List
According to the Constitution:
The legislative power, i.e the power to make laws is distributed between Union and states under three categories: Union list, State list and Concurrent list.
Subjects of legislation that come under union list, centre can make laws that applies through out India. Under state list, state can make laws that applies only to their defined territory. Under Concurrent list – Centre and state can make laws, but centre law will prevail in case of a conflict.
The subject ‘Citizenship’ comes under Union list and thus according to Constitution, the CAA law passed by the parliament constitutionally applies through out India.
Thus, according to article 245 (1) parliament can make laws for the whole or any part of the territory of India. And state legislature can make laws for the whole or any part of the state.
245(2) – No law made by the parliament shall be deemed to be invalid on the ground that it would have extra-territorial operation.
Can states constitutionally take a decision not to implement CAA (passed by centre)?
Since, the subject citizenship comes under Union list, centre has the constitutional power to makes laws that apply throughout India.
So, the question is can states object? what will happen if states object?
Constitutionally, the states have to comply. However, Under article 131 of Constitution of India, Kerala state has approached Supreme Court.
According to Article 131 – In case of dispute between government of India and one or more states, Supreme Court will have the original jurisdiction.
Article 131(1) – Exclusive jurisdiction of the Supreme Court in regard to questions as to constitutional validity of central laws.
on January 14th Kerala has appealed to the supreme court stating that CAA is against the provisions of the Constitution especially right to Equality under article 14. It also states it is against the secularism which the Constitution upholds.
The supreme court hearing on CAA is on January 22. Apart from Kerala, 60 petitions have been filed in Supreme court against CAA.
What happens if state does not implement CAA?
According to article 356 the President is empowered to make a proclamation, that the government of a state cannot be carried on in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution, “Where any state has failed to comply with, or to give effect to any directions given in the exercise of the executive power of the Union under any of the provisions of this Constitution (article 365).”
Under such proclamation by President, President may-
- Assume to himself all or any of the functions of the executive of the state
- declare that the powers of the Legislature of the state shall be exercisable by or under the authority of parliament.
In short, the union will take control of the state administration except judicial. Thus is a type of emergency under article 356 – ‘Failure of Constitutional machinery in the state’
Proclamation: A public or official announcement dealing with a matter of great importance.
Article in Constitution: An article in the constitution refers to pointers, based on which the laws are made.
Comply: Act in accordance with a wish or command.
Activity: The state you are residing in, check whether your government supports CAA or not.