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Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) Rules: Here’s All You Need To Know

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New Delhi: The Union Home Ministry officially released the rules for the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) on Monday. This legislation, which was a pivotal component of the BJP’s 2019 manifesto, was passed by Parliament in the same year. The latest development introduces the Citizenship (Amendment) Rules, 2024. Eligible individuals, as specified in the CAA-2019, can now begin the application process for Indian citizenship.

MHA in a statement said, “The Constitution of India grants us the right to provide religious persecuted refugees with fundamental rights and to grant citizenship from a humanitarian perspective. The implementation of the Citizenship Amendment  Act was delayed due to the COVID pandemic.”

All You Need To Know:

  • The Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) is not applicable to Indian citizens.
  • The Citizenship Amendment Act, passed by the Modi government in 2019, aims to grant Indian citizenship to persecuted migrants from Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Afghanistan who arrived in India before December 31, 2014.
  • It seeks to offer refuge to Hindus, Sikhs, Jains, Buddhists, Parsis, and Christians who faced religious persecution in their home countries.
  • The CAA applies to individuals “forced or compelled to seek shelter in India due to persecution on the ground of religion.” It sets a framework for the application process for eligible migrants who would otherwise be considered illegal.
  • The legislation excludes regions under the Sixth Schedule of the Constitution and areas covered by the Inner Line Permit system, primarily to protect the interests of tribal and indigenous communities in the North-Eastern region.
  • Residents in these specified areas are not eligible to apply for Indian citizenship under the CAA.
  • Over the past six years, India has granted citizenship to around 2,830 citizens from Pakistan, 912 from Afghanistan, and 172 from Bangladesh. Notably, a significant number of these individuals belong to the majority communities in their respective countries.
  • It provides a legal framework for migrants who might have otherwise been deemed “illegal,” offering them the opportunity to apply for Indian citizenship, contingent upon meeting specified conditions.
  • Under the newly introduced rules, individuals seeking Indian citizenship are required to furnish two specific documents as part of their application process. Firstly, an affidavit from an Indian citizen attesting to the character of the applicant is mandatory.
  • Additionally, applicants must demonstrate proficiency in one of the languages listed in the Eighth Schedule of the Constitution. This language requirement serves as a criterion to ensure that applicants possess adequate linguistic skills essential for integration into Indian society.
  • Applicants are required to carry a declaration stating that in the event their application for Indian citizenship is approved, they irrevocably renounce their citizenship of their current country.
  • The CAA has faced widespread opposition and protests across the nation. Numerous opposition parties, including the Congress party, have criticised the law, branding it as “discriminatory.”
  • Concerns have also been raised regarding the timing of the law’s notification, with allegations suggesting political motives in influencing the upcoming Lok Sabha elections in West Bengal and Assam.

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