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UN body moves Indian Supreme Court over citizenship law

NEW DELHI: United Nations human rights chief has filed an application in the Indian Supreme Court in connection with the controversial Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA).
India’s External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said India’s permanent mission in Geneva was informed on Monday by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, about the intervention application.
“The CAA is an internal matter of India and concerns the sovereign right of the Indian Parliament to make laws. We strongly believe that no foreign party has any locus standi on issues pertaining to India’s sovereignty,” Kumar said.
He added, “We are clear that the CAA is constitutionally valid and complies with all requirements of our constitutional values. It is reflective of our long-standing national commitment in respect of human rights issues arising from the tragedy of the Partition of India.”
The move has prompt New Delhi to say that no foreign party has locus standi on issues related to the country’s sovereignty. Kumar further said India is a democracy governed by the rule of law. 
“We all have utmost respect for and full trust in our independent judiciary. We are confident that our sound and legally sustainable position would be vindicated by the Supreme Court,” he said.
READ MORE: UN rights chief concerned by India violence, Kashmir situation
Last week, Bachelet had expressed serious concern at the CAA and riots in Delhi and called on India’s leadership to prevent further violence. “Indians in huge numbers, and from all communities have expressed — in a mostly peaceful manner — their opposition to the act, and support for the country’s long tradition of secularism,” she said.
“I am concerned by reports of police inaction in the face of attacks against Muslims by other groups, as well as previous reports of excessive use of force by police against peaceful protesters,” said Bachelet. 
Shortly after it was passed by Parliament in December last year, the United Nations human rights office had described the CAA as “fundamentally discriminatory in nature”, and had called for it to be reviewed.
The US Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) has appealed to the Trump administration for action. It had earlier asked the Trump administration to consider sanctions against India’s top leadership if the law was approved.
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