Bengaluru: Senior advocate BV Acharya has openly come out in support of the Citizenship Amendment Law (CAA). 

On the issue of non-Muslim minorities being conferred citizenship, he said, “This is under the amended law. Under the original law, anybody, including a Muslim, is entitled to claim citizenship here provided he fulfils those conditions. This is only an additional benefit conferred on non-Muslim minorities of three neighbouring countries. That process is still there. Nobody can have any grievance.” 

He allayed fears that that CAA affects Muslims. 
“It does not affect any citizen of India whatever may be the religion he belongs to. It is only an additional right conferred on sections of people from outside the country.”
On the issue of CAA violating the spirit of secularism, he said, “I tried to find out from the opposition what exactly their grievance is. Except for saying that the ruling party is today making a law that goes contrary to the spirit of secularism, they do not have any other arguments. By that they (the opposition) mean when you are conferring citizenship for these three states, you are excluding the Muslims of those states.”

He dealt with article 14 in this way. Article 14 deals with equality before law. 

“But as far as Article 14 goes, you can always justify on the basis of some intelligible criteria. Here there is a clear specification - Muslims there (in the three neighbouring countries) stand on a different footing than other minorities. They are not minorities since those are Islamic countries.”

The lawyer also spoke on the issue of NRC. He said, “Even that has not become law. They are going to enact. Now it has been clarified that it will not be done unless the views of all stakeholders are taken into account in the country. If and when they introduce a Bill, at that point we can see whether it is valid or not. In contemplation of what might be enacted, how can you start an agitation?” 

The interview first appeared on the website The Lede