Citizenship Amendment Act, 2019 (CAA, NCR)
History of The Citizen Amendment Bill
In July 2016, The Citizen Amendment Bill was first place before parliament. The BJP has a large majority in parliament’s lower house, hence legislation cleared the bill in Lok Sabha. But in the upper house it did not pass. (What is Citizenship Amendment Act, 2019 (CAA, NCR))
Anti-migrant had protested in north-eastern India. The protests were from the state of Assam. They saw two million residents left off a citizen’s register in August. The state of Assam has long been concerned over the illegal migration from Bangladesh.
We have seen that The Citizen Amendment Bill has been linked to the National Register. While both are different things. National Register of Citizen is the official record of those who are legal Indian citizens. It is a demographic information who have qualified as an Indian citizen as per the Indian citizenship act 1955.
After the 1951 census of India this register was first prepared. So far as such database was only maintained for the state of Assam. The National Register of Citizens (NRC) is a list of people who came to the state of Assam by 24 March 1971 i.e. a day before Independence day of Bangladesh country.
What is the controversy?
According to Opposition the bill violates the principles of the Constitution of India. According to the faith cannot make a condition of citizenship. The constitution of India forbids religious discrimination against its citizens, and guarantees all persons equal protection of the law and equality before the law.
Object of Citizenship Amendment Act
The object of The Citizenship Amendment act is to amend the Citizenship Act of 1955. And to grant citizenship to members of six religious’ communities from three Muslim countries to guard them from religious persecution.
As per the provisions of the citizenship amendment act those persons who have entered India on or before 31st December 2014 from Bangladesh, Afghanistan, and Pakistan, and those who belong Hindu, Sikh, Christian, Jain, Parsi, or Buddhist community. These people shall not treat as illegal migrant.
And new amendment act also applies to those people who have exempted from section 3(2)(c ) of Passport Act, 1920 by the Central Government. The Citizenship Amendment act also applies to the provision of Foreigners Act, 1946, or any rule or order made thereunder.
Citizenship to Minorities
The Citizenship Amendment Act provides citizenship to minorities from Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Afghanistan. According to the citizenship amendment act the unlawful immigrants of Hindu, Buddhist, Sikh, Christian and Parsi from Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh, who have lived in India with no documents. The government of India states this may give sanctuary to people escaping religious persecution. Critics in India say the Act is a module of a Bhartiya Janata Party’s agenda to marginalize Muslims.
Six minority groups have identified are Hindus, Jains, Sikhs, Buddhists, Christians, and Parsis. The Act purposes to differ the definition of unlawful migrants. However, the Act doesn’t have a provision for Muslim sections like Shias and Ahmedis who also face persecution in Pakistan.
The beneficiaries of the Citizenship Amendment Act can reside in any state of India. Therefore, the burden of these persecuted migrants are going to be shared by the whole country.
Presently, the Constitution of India provides for citizenship by naturalization – for people that have lived in India for the past 12 months and 11 of the past 14 years. It also provides for people whose parents or grandparents were born in India to become Indian citizens.
Who are illegal immigrants?
As per the Citizenship Act, 1955, an illegal immigrant are those who don’t have a legitimate passport and people who have entered in India with fake or forged documents. Illegal Immigrant also includes an individual stays without a valid visa permit.
Methods of citizenship acquired in India
Citizenship is regulated by the Citizenship Act, 1955 in India. According to the Citizenship Amendment Act Citizenship may be acquired by the people in India through five methods – by birth in India, by naturalization (extended residence in India), by descent, through registration, and by incorporation of the territory into India.
Status of illegal migrants before the Citizenship Amendment Act
An illegal migrant is banned from acquiring Indian citizenship. An illegal immigrant may be an immigrant who either enters India illegally i.e., without a valid passport and also some immigrants who enter India legally. But stays in India without a valid visa. The prosecution are often initiated against an illegal immigrant in India and deported or imprisoned.
Status of illegal migrants After the Citizenship Amendment Act
According to the Citizenship Amendment Act the required class of illegal migrants from the three countries Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Afghanistan won’t treat as illegal migrants. and that they will eligible for citizenship. And after acquiring citizenship such migrants shall be the Indian citizens from the date of their entry into India. All the proceedings regarding their status as illegal migrants shall close.
The Citizenship Amendment Act allows a migrant to use for citizenship by naturalization, but he has got to meet qualifications. That the person should have resided in India or he has been in central government service for the previous 12 months and a minimum of 11 years of the preceding 14 years. the amount of years of residency has relaxed from 11 years to 5 years for a certain class of illegal migrants.
Applicability of the act across the country
The Citizenship Amendment Act clarifies that the amendments on citizenship act to the required class of illegal migrants shall not apply to specified areas. These are: (i) the tribal areas of Assam, Meghalaya, Mizoram, and Tripura, as included within the Sixth Schedule to the Constitution.
Procedure for acquiring citizenship
As per the Citizenship Amendment Act, the central government or the specified authority may grant the certificate of registration or certificate of naturalization subject to conditions, restrictions, and manner as may prescribe to the persons who make applications.
After fulfilling the conditions or the qualifications for naturalization, the central government issue certificate of registration or certificate of naturalization, thereafter that person shall be deemed as a citizen of India from the date of his entry in India
Any proceeding in respect of illegal migration or citizenship pending against a person under this section shall abate from the conferment of his citizenship from the date of commencement of citizenship act or on the date of commencement of citizenship act
Such a person’s application shall not get disqualified under this section on the ground that proceeding is pending against such person or he is otherwise qualified for the grant of citizenship under this section. This section shall not apply to the tribal area of Assam, Meghalaya, Mizoram, or Tripura.
CAB does not snatch anyone’s Indian Citizenship
Oppositions have asked repeated questions regarding Muslims has left out. The Home Minister Mr. Amit Shah replied to them that Muslims from other countries have the right to make applications as per the existing rules. He also replied to the Opposition Congress party saying that the party’s leader statement matched to statement of Pakistani leader on the issue of citizenship bill and scrapping of 370. He also said that the Citizenship amendment act does not violate article 14 of the constitution of India.
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