CITIZENSHIP (AMENDMENT) ACT 2019 (Syllabus: GS Paper 2 – Polity)

News-CRUX-10     12th March 2024        
output themes

Context: The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) notified the Citizenship Amendment Rules, 2024 that would enable the implementation of the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) passed by the Parliament in 2019.

Citizenship (Amendment) Act 2019

  • Amended the Citizenship Act, 1955: The act amended the Citizenship Act, 1955 to make illegal migrants eligible for citizenship of India. 
  • Citizenship on the basis of religion: The CAA provides citizenship on the basis of religion to six undocumented non-Muslim communities (Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis and Christians) from Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh who entered India on or before 31st December, 2014.
  • Definition: Under the Act, an illegal migrant is a foreigner who:

oEnters the country without valid travel documents like a passport and visa, or

oEnters with valid documents, but stays beyond the permitted time period.

  • Exemption: Illegal migrants may be put in jail or deported under The Foreigners Act, 1946 and The Passport (Entry into India) Act, 1920.

oIt exempts the members of the six communities from any criminal case under the Foreigners Act, 1946 and the Passport Act, 1920.

oThe two Acts specify punishment for entering the country illegally and staying here on expired visas and permits.

  • Eligibility Criteria: To qualify for citizenship under CAA, applicants must have entered India on or before December 31, 2014. The current citizenship criteria include being born in India or residing in the country for at least 11 years.
  • OCI Registration Provision: The proposed amendment includes a provision for the cancellation of Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) registration if the OCI cardholder violates any provision of the Citizenship Act or any other applicable law.
  • Citizenship by registration or naturalisation: The Act allows a person to apply for citizenship by registration or naturalisation if the person meets certain qualifications.
  • Relaxations: 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.
  • Disclosure of Entry Year: Applicants must disclose the year they entered India without proper documentation through the online portal.
  • Document Exemption: Unlike conventional processes, applicants under CAA won't be required to submit any documents, streamlining the application process for eligible individuals.
output themes