USCIRF Has No Locus Standi to Pronounce on Indians’ Constitutionally Protected Rights: Jaishankar

USCIRF Has No Locus Standi to Pronounce on Indians’ Constitutionally Protected Rights: Jaishankar

File photo of External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar. (PTI)

File photo of External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar. (PTI)

The USCIRF has been known to make prejudiced, inaccurate, and misleading observations regarding the state of religious freedom in India, the minister said.

  • PTI New Delhi
  • Last Updated: June 10, 2020, 5:51 PM IST

The government had denied visa to USCIRF teams that sought to visit India in connection with issues related to religious freedom, as a foreign entity like it has no locus standi to make a pronouncement on Indian citizens’ constitutionally protected rights, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar has said.

Jaishankar informed this in a letter written to BJP MP Nishikant Dubey who had raised the issue of the US Commission for International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) seeking sanctions against Home Minister Amit Shah in case Citizen Amendment Bill gets passed, during the Winter session of Lok Sabha last year.

The USCIRF has been known to make prejudiced, inaccurate, and misleading observations regarding the state of religious freedom in India, the minister said.

We do not take cognizance of these pronouncements and have repudiated such attempts to misrepresent information related to India, the minister said. He said the MEA had rejected the body’s remarks in this regard as inaccurate and unwarranted.

We have also denied visa to USCIRF teams that have sought to visit India in connection with issues related to religious freedom, as we do not see the locus standi of a foreign entity like USCIRF to pronounce on the state of Indian citizens constitutionally protected rights, Jaishankar wrote.

He also assured the BJP MP that India will not accept any external interference or pronouncement on its sovereignty and fundamental rights of its citizens.

Last year, the USCIRF had said that the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2019 would be a “dangerous turn in wrong direction” and sought American sanctions against Shah if the bill would pass by both houses of the Indian Parliament.

The USCIRF had made these remarks when the bill had been introduced in Lok Sabha and later parliament passed the legislation on December 11 last year.

The MEA had stated in its response that the USCIRF had “chosen to be guided only by its prejudices and biases on a matter on which it had little knowledge and no locus standi”.


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