Under the Citizenship Amendment Act, applicants will have to submit proof of religion, apart from proving that they came to India from Pakistan, Afghanistan or Bangladesh before December 31, 2014. The rules of the Act are currently being drafted by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA)
As per an MHA official, it can be done by producing any Indian government document, acquired before December 31, 2014, in which the applicant has declared his/ her religion as Hindu, Sikh, Christian, Parsi, Jain or Buddhist, reported The Indian Express
“For example, if someone has enrolled his/ her children in a government school, he/ she would have declared their religion. If someone has acquired Aadhaar before December 31, 2014 and has declared his/ her religion as being from among the six mentioned in the Act, it would be acceptable… Any form of government document declaring religion will be accepted,” said the official.
Citizenship Amendment Act allows immigrants from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan to apply for Indian citizenship through the naturalisation process if they are either Hindus, Sikhs, Christians, Parsis, Jains or Buddhists. CAA grants citizenship on the basis of the assumption that these communities have faced religious persecution in these countries.
The CAA rules are unlikely to ask for evidence of religious persecution, presuming instead that those who came to India either faced persecution or feared they would be persecuted.
According to a report in The Indian Express, sources said Home Ministry has also accepted a demand from Assam that application for citizenship under the Act should be time bound. Assam had asked the MHA to limit the time period to three months, as it felt that keeping it open-ended could further accentuate the apprehensions over CAA in the state.