Weeks before Lok Sabha polls, Modi govt makes Citizenship (Amendment) Act official

Indian nationality to be granted to persecuted non-Muslim migrants from Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan who came to India until 31 December 2014

A protest against the CAA, with a placard calling for this 'black law' to be rolled back (photo: National Herald archives)
A protest against the CAA, with a placard calling for this 'black law' to be rolled back (photo: National Herald archives)

NH Political Bureau

Weeks ahead of the Lok Sabha elections, the Modi government officially announced on Monday the implementation of the controversial Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019 (CAA). Enacted in 2019, the CAA is designed to facilitate the granting of citizenship to undocumented non-Muslim migrants from Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Afghanistan.

"The Modi Government announces the implementation of the Citizenship Amendment Act. It was an integral part of the BJP’s 2019 manifesto. This will pave the way for the persecuted to find citizenship in India," stated the government.

Crucially, the implementation of the CAA was a key element of the BJP’s 2019 Lok Sabha election manifesto. The Modi government is now set to confer Indian nationality upon persecuted non-Muslim migrants from Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Afghanistan — specifically Hindus, Sikhs, Jains, Buddhists, Parsis, and Christians — who arrived in India by 31 December 2014.

The CAA, passed in December 2019 and subsequently receiving the President’s assent, faced protests across the country, resulting in over 100 casualties during anti-CAA demonstrations and police action. Despite the passage of the law, its enforcement was delayed as rules needed to be notified for implementation.

As per the Manual on Parliamentary Work, rules for any legislation should be framed within six months of presidential assent, or the government must seek an extension from the Committees on Subordinate Legislation in the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha.

Since 2020, the ministry of home affairs has been securing extensions from the parliamentary committee for implementation of the rules. The ministry has now established an online portal for the convenience of applicants, streamlining the entire process.

Applicants will be required to declare the year of their entry into India without travel documents, according to an official statement. No additional documentation will be required.

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