Friday, July 19, 2024

CAA Rules: What is CAA? Who will it affect? | leader

Leaders Online Desk: The Modi government at the center has issued a notification of the Citizenship Amendment Act. This is a big step of the central government before the Lok Sabha elections. Under this, the minorities of the three neighboring countries of India will now be able to get Indian citizenship. For this they have to apply on the online portal created by the central government. On the other hand, security has been beefed up in several states including Delhi and Uttar Pradesh after the Center issued a notification.

The Bill amending the Citizenship Act was passed by both Houses of Parliament in December 2019. It was also approved by the President in January 2020. However, the implementation of CAA was delayed due to the work of regulations. Generally after passing any law its rules have to be made within 6 months. If that is not possible, time will have to be sought from the Parliament. Same thing happened with CAA. Home Ministry had sought extension 9 times. As the rules of this Act have not been made till date and the notification has not been issued, people who want to get citizenship through this Act could not apply. But now it is possible to apply for citizenship.

Before the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, the BJP had included the CAA in its manifesto. The party had made this a big issue. Home Minister Amit Shah has often talked about the implementation of the Citizenship Amendment Act or CAA in his recent election speeches. He had also announced that it would be implemented before the Lok Sabha elections. Now the central government has issued a notification for this and implemented it.

Under the CAA, there is a provision to grant citizenship to people of other religions coming from three Muslim-majority neighboring countries excluding the Muslim community. The central government has created a web portal related to CAA. Minorities coming from the three Muslim-majority neighboring countries will have to register themselves on the portal and will be granted citizenship under the law after government verification. For this, the displaced minorities from Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan will not need to provide any documents.

Who will get citizenship?

CAA will not affect citizens of India. The power to grant citizenship rests entirely with the central government. The Citizenship Act of 1955 was amended to grant Indian citizenship to immigrants from Hindu, Sikh, Jain, Parsi, Buddhist and Christian communities in India's neighboring countries Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan. Migrant citizens who came to India due to religious persecution in their country and took refuge in India before 31 December 2014.

According to this Act, people who have come to India without valid travel documents (passport and visa) or who have come to India with valid documents, but have stayed here beyond the prescribed period, are treated as illegal immigrants.

Who can apply for citizenship?

The Citizenship Amendment Bill was first introduced in the Lok Sabha in 2016. It was passed in the Lok Sabha but not approved by the Rajya Sabha. It was later referred to a parliamentary committee. But then came the Lok Sabha elections. After this election, a new government was formed, so the Citizenship Amendment Bill was reintroduced in the Lok Sabha in December 2019. This time the bill was passed in Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha. The Act came into effect from 10 January 2020 after receiving the assent of the President.

The Citizenship Amendment Act will grant Indian citizenship to Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, Christian and Parsi refugees from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan. According to the law, only those who came and settled in India before December 31, 2014 will be granted citizenship.

Why not Muslims?

The Citizenship Amendment Act was opposed. Opponents accused the law of being anti-Muslim. Why is citizenship being given on the basis of religion? Why are Muslims not included in this? Such questions were asked by the opposition.

The government's argument is that Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan are Islamic countries and non-Muslims are persecuted on the basis of religion. For this reason non-Muslims have fled to India. Therefore, only non-Muslims have been included in it.

According to the law, Indian citizenship requires at least 11 years of residence in the country. However, according to the Citizenship Amendment Act, non-Muslims from these three countries will be granted citizenship only after 6 years of residence instead of 11 years. People from other countries, irrespective of their religion, are required to reside in India for 11 years.

How many people will get citizenship?

As soon as the Citizenship Amendment Act comes into force, 31 thousand 313 people will be eligible for citizenship through this Act.

In January 2019, the Joint Parliamentary Committee submitted its report on the bill. Rajendra Agarwal of BJP was the chairman of this committee. The committee also included officials from IB and RAW.

According to the committee's report, the number of non-Muslims from India, Pakistan and Bangladesh as of 31 December 2014 was 31,313. They will get citizenship immediately after the law comes into force.

This includes 25 thousand 447 Hindus and 5 thousand 807 Sikhs. Apart from this there are 55 Christians, 2 each of Buddhists and Parsis. These people are leaving their countries and living in India due to religious persecution.

How to get citizenship?

The government has made the entire process online. An online portal has also been created for this purpose. Applicants can also apply through his mobile phone. Applicants will have to state the year of entry into India without their documents.

No documents will be asked from the applicants. All such pending cases related to citizenship will be converted online. Eligible evacuees have to apply online on the portal only. The Ministry of Home Affairs will then inquire and issue the citizenship.

Will anyone be stripped of their citizenship?

Home Minister Amit Shah has said that there is no provision in the CAA to revoke the citizenship of any Indian. Under this, there is a provision to grant citizenship to six non-Muslim communities who came from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan before December 31, 2014.

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