Nearly three years after the contentious Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019 was passed by the Parliament, the Ministry of Home Affairs is yet to notify the rules governing the Act.
by Preetha Nair, New Delhi
Nearly three years after the contentious Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019 was passed by the Parliament, the Ministry of Home Affairs is yet to notify the rules governing the Act. The legislation cannot be implemented without the rules being framed. However, the Centre’s recent move to grant Indian citizenship to six minority communities from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, and Pakistan, living in two districts of Gujarat, has brought back the limelight on the issue.
It should be noted that the order which was issued on Monday to grant citizenship was done under the citizenship act 1955 as the new CAA rules are not being framed. In a similar manner, the government has issued a notification to grant citizenship to non-Muslim migrants from the three countries in several districts of Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan, Punjab and Haryana in 2016, 2018 and 2021 too.
Though in January 2020, the MHA notified that the Citizenship Act would be operational from January 10, 2020, it later sought an extension from the parliamentary committees on grounds of the Covid-19 pandemic. Since then, the ministry has been granted seven extensions so far. In the recent extension, permission has been granted from the Rajya Sabha till December 31, 2022, and the Lok Sabha has granted the time till January 9, 2023.
The controversial law, which was passed in December 2019 seeks to grant Indian citizenship to non-Muslim ‘persecuted minorities’ from Bangladesh, Afghanistan, and Pakistan Hindus, Sikhs, Jains, Buddhists, Parsis and Christians — who came to India till December 31, 2014.
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