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Explainer: Why state government resolution against citizenship law has no legal sanctity


Thiruvananthapuram, Jan 03: Kerala Governor Arif Mohammed Khan said the resolution passed by the state assembly demanding scrapping of the controversial Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) has no constitutional or legal validity.

The state had no role because citizenship comes under the domain of the Central government, he told reporters here.

Explainer: Why state government resolution against citizenship law has no legal sanctity

"The resolution has no constitutional or legal validity," he added.

"Citizenship comes exclusively in the domain of the Central government. The state government has no role. So, why these people engaged in something which is a non-issue for Kerala? he asked.

Kerala Assembly resolution against CAA has no legal validity: Governor

Pointing out that the southern state had not been affected by partition, the Governor said there are no illegal immigrants in Kerala.

The Governor has also criticised the just-concluded Indian History Congress, held in Kannur, where protests had been raised against him for his remarks on the CAA.

Khan said the History Congress has claimed that it has made some recommendations to the state government, including not to cooperate with the Centre.

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    The recommendations are "totally illegal" and have "criminal content", he said.

    The Kerala Assembly on Tuesday passed the resolution becoming the first state in the country to do so.

    A Home Ministry official told OneIndia that the states cannot stall this process. The states have no right to stop either the NPR or the newly amended citizenship law.

    While the states have said that the Act will not be implemented, legally speaking it is not possible for them to do so. The Citizenship (Amendment) Bill was enacted under the Union List of the Seventh Schedule of the Constitution. Among the 97 items under this list, citizenship and naturalisation are one among them.

    Defence, external affairs, railways among others also fall under the Union List. Since citizenship and naturalisation fall under this List, it is entirely under the powers of the Centre to implement the same and the states cannot refuse it.

    The Seventh Schedule of the Constitution defines the powers and functions between the Centre and States. There are three lists under this, namely the Union, State and Concurrent List.

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    Items that fall under the Union List gives the Centre or Parliament the exclusive powers to legislate on matters. Extradition, naval, military, citizenship and naturalisation, Air Force, passports, war and peace are some of the items under this list.

    The State List, on the other hand, involves 61 items on which the state has the exclusive power to legislate. This does not comprise citizenship and naturalisation. Some items include law and order, public health, agriculture etc.

    The Concurrent List, on the other hand, deals with 47 items. The items under this list fall under the joint domain of the Centre and State. In case of a dispute on this List, then the law made by the Centre would prevail. Some items under this list are criminal law, motor vehicle law, insolvency, forests etc.

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