CITIZENSHIP AMENDMENT ACT
- February 3, 2021
- Posted by: OptimizeIAS Team
- Category: DPN Topics
CITIZENSHIP AMENDMENT ACT
Subject : National Legislations
Context : The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) informed the Lok Sabha on Tuesday that a parliamentary committee on subordinate legislation had granted it extension till April 9 to frame the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA), 2019 rules.
- The Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019 seeks to amend the Citizenship Act, 1955.
- The Citizenship Act,1955 provides various ways in which citizenship may be acquired. It provides for citizenship by birth, descent, registration, naturalisation and by incorporation of the territory into India.
- In addition, it regulates the registration of Overseas Citizen of India Cardholders (OCIs) and their rights. An OCI is entitled to some benefits such as a multiple-entry, multipurpose lifelong visa to visit India.
Key Features of CAA
- Citizenship on the basis of religion: The Bill amends the Citizenship Act, 1955, and for the first time, will grant citizenship on the basis of religion to non-Muslim communities from Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan, who entered India on or before December 31, 2014.
- Non – Muslim Communities Included: Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, Parsi, and Christian. This implies that migrants, who identify themselves with any group or community other than those mentioned here, from the above mentioned countries won’t be eligible for citizenship.
- Exceptions: The provisions on citizenship for illegal migrants will not apply to two categories – states protected by the ‘Inner Line’, and areas covered under the Sixth Schedule of the Constitution.
- Inner Line Permit (ILP): This is a special permit that citizens from other parts of India require to enter a state protected by the ILP regime. Without an ILP granted by the state government, an Indian from another state cannot visit a state that is under the ILP regime.
- Sixth Schedule: The Sixth Schedule relates to special provisions in administration of certain Northeastern states (Assam, Mizoram, Meghalaya and Tripura). It provides special powers for Autonomous District Councils (ADCs) in these states.
- Citizenship by Naturalization
- Under The Citizenship Act, 1955, one of the requirements for citizenship by naturalisation is that the applicant must have resided in India during the last 12 months, as well as for 11 of the previous 14 years.
- The amendment relaxes the second requirement from 11 years to 5 years as a specific condition for applicants belonging to the specified six religions, and the above mentioned three countries.
- Additional Ground for Cancelling Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) Registration i.e. violation of any law notified by the central government.
- However, the Bill does not provide any guidance on the nature of laws which the central government may notify.