It has no locus standi: MEA on USCIRF’s citizenship bill statement

PTI, Dec 10, 2019, 3:19 PM IST

New Delhi: Asserting that a US federal commission’s critical comments on the Citizenship Amendment Bill are not accurate, India on Tuesday said the American body on international religious freedom has chosen to be guided only by its biases on a matter on which it has no locus standi.

In a statement issued on Monday, the US Commission for International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) alleged that the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill enshrines a pathway to citizenship for immigrants that specifically excludes Muslims, setting a legal criterion for citizenship based on religion.

The US Commission on International Religious Freedom’s statement on the bill is neither accurate nor warranted, Ministry of External Affairs Spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said.

Neither the Citizenship Amendment Bill, nor the NRC process seeks to strip citizenship from any Indian citizen of any faith, he said.

“The position articulated by USCIRF is not surprising given its past record. It is, however, regrettable that the body has chosen to be guided only by its prejudices and biases on a matter on which it clearly has little knowledge and no locus standi,” Kumar said.

The Lok Sabha passed the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, which seeks to provide Indian citizenship to non-Muslim refugees coming from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan after facing religious persecution there, a little past midnight on Monday.

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