NEW DELHI: Faizan Mustafa, the Vice-Chancellor of the NALSAR University of Law in Hyderabad, in an interview with The Wire has argued that India's concept of citizenship has been restricted and undermined.
Mustafa also claimed that the National Register of Citizens (NRC) in Assam violated the Citizenship Act, 1955.
"The NRC is a clear violation of Section 3 of the Citizenship Act. I am clear about it," he said. Mustafa also said that NRC coordinator Prateek Hajela's arguments were "laughable".
Citing nuances of the Citizenship Act, he argued, "We cannot be denying citizenship to anybody or deny inclusion in NRC."
Citing legal problems, Mustafa asserted that the final NRC list for Assam published on August 31 was unconstitutional.
Taking a dig at the Supreme Court, Mustafa said the refusal to include in the NRC those born in India between Republic Day 1950 and June 30, 1987 was "a self-inflicted wound in which the Supreme Court is also a party."
"I would say that in this matter what was expected from the court has not been delivered," he said.
Mustafa also compared the Foreigners Tribunals to "Kangaroo courts", claiming that they were not independent of the government.
He pointed out that their members served at the government's pleasure and those tribunal members who did not declare enough people as foreigners are often dispensed with. He called the Foreigners Tribunals "citizenship exclusion entities".