Kapil Sibal's remarks on Assam draws flak
Kapil Sibal's remarks on Assam draws flak

Kapil Sibal's "Assam Originally Part Of Myanmar" Remark Draws Flak

The highest court's Constitution Bench, headed by CJI Chandrachud and including Justices AS Bopanna, MM Sundresh, JB Pardiwala, and Manoj Misra, is tasked with reviewing the constitutionality of Section 6A.

The Supreme Court instructed the Union Government to furnish comprehensive information about the influx of illegal migrants into Assam and the northeastern states post March 25, 1971. This directive is a crucial aspect of the extensive assessment pertaining to the controversial Section 6A, which has been a subject of intense debate among different factions in Assam.

Significantly, the highest court, headed by Chief Justice DY Chandrachud and including a five-judge Constitution Bench, began hearings on Tuesday (December 5) to consider various petitions contesting the legality of Section 6A of the 1955 Citizenship Act. This particular section, crucial to the enforcement of the Assam Accord, allows certain foreign migrants who arrived in Assam between January 1, 1966, and March 25, 1971, to seek Indian citizenship.

During the trial, Senior Advocate Kapil Sibal spoke for the defendants and presented his case. He stressed the difficulty of tracking population movements throughout history, focusing on Assam's transformation from being a part of Myanmar to its governance under British rule and connection with East Bengal after partition. He highlighted the integration of the Bengali population in Assam, placing this integration within historical contexts.

"Migration of people and populations is embedded in history and cannot be mapped. If you look at the history of Assam, you'll realise that it is impossible to figure out who came when," he said during the hearing.

"Assam was originally a part of Myanmar. It was way back in 1824 after the British conquered part of the territory that a treaty was entered into by which Assam was handed over to the British. You can imagine the kind of movement of people that might have taken place in the context of the then British Empire," he further said.

The heart of the dispute is centered on how indigenous groups in Assam perceive Section 6A, which they argue has legitimized the influx of illegal migrants from Bangladesh, causing significant effects on the state's demographics and cultural identity.

The highest court's Constitution Bench, headed by CJI Chandrachud and including Justices AS Bopanna, MM Sundresh, JB Pardiwala, and Manoj Misra, is tasked with reviewing the constitutionality of Section 6A. The bench's assessment of this provision could significantly impact Assam's socio-political environment.

To reinforce his position, Sibal referred to his family's own experience of being displaced during the partition, emphasizing the importance of individual rights, particularly for Bengali people, to travel freely within the nation. He strongly opposed the claim that these population movements had negatively impacted Assam's cultural identity.

Kapil Sibal's remarks on Assam draws flak
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