The Constitutional Conduct Group, comprising of retired bureaucrats wrote an open letter to the people on Thursday, January 9.
The group consisting of 106 former civil servants cited their grave reservations about the constitutional validity of the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA).
It also stated that both the National Register of Indian Citizens (NRC) and National Population Register (NPR) are “unnecessary and wasteful exercise” which will cause hardships to people.
The letter was inclusive of three-points:
- There is no need for the NPR and NRC
- Why authorize widespread setting up of Foreigners’ Tribunals and detention camps?
- The constitutional and moral untenability of the CAA
The letter explains the basic structure of the NPR and NRC. In addition, it considers CAA to be morally indefensible.
The former bureaucrats who signed off the letter include former Lieutenant Governor of Delhi Najeeb Jung, former ambassador to Sweden Sushil Dubey, former Cabinet secretary KM Chandrasekhar among others.
The reason which has led to the rise of the ‘grave apprehensions’ about the intentions of the Government of India is said to be the statements delivered by Ministers of the Government of India in recent times, linking the NRC and the CAA.
“The Prime Minister’s statement at a public meeting in Delhi on 22 December that the CAA and the NRC are not linked contradicts the averments of his Home Minister on repeated occasions in various fora. In such a welter of conflicting and confusing utterances, it is hardly surprising that the ordinary citizen is left bewildered and is overcome by unknown fears, more so when the government has not entered into any dialogue on this issue,” it said.
The ex-civil servants questioned the widespread setting up of Foreigners’ Tribunals and detention camps under the Foreigners (Tribunals) Amendment Order, 2019.
While commenting on the Muslim Community of India, the signatories said, “That the Muslim community has had to face the brunt of police action in recent days only in those states where the local police is controlled by the party in power at the Centre only adds credence to the widespread feeling that the NPR-NRC exercise could be used for selective targeting of specific communities and individuals.”
It further added that India also stands to lose its position as a moral beacon guiding many other countries on the path to liberal democracy.