Citizenship Amendment Bill: Is it another step towards NRC?

New Delhi: Citizenship Amendment Bill which was lapsed due to the end of 16th Lok Sabha term is likely to be tabled again in Parliament in this Winter Session which is scheduled to start on Monday.

Who is Indian Citizen?

Under the Citizenship Act 1955, a person may get citizenship by birth or descent or registration or naturalisation.

What is the important provision of the Bill?

As per the Citizenship Act 1955, the applicant of ‘Citizenship by naturalisation’ has to reside in India during the last 12 months and 11 years of the previous 14 years.

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The aim of the citizenship amendment bill is to change the second requirement from 11 years to 6 years.

Earlier attempt to pass the bill

Government had introduced the bill in Lok Sabha on 19th July 2016. On 12th August 2016, it was sent to a Joint Parliamentary Group (JPG).

After receiving the report from JPG on 7th January, Lok Sabha passed the bill on 8th January. However, the bill was not passed by Rajya Sabha.

As per the Parliamentary procedures, after the end of the Lok Sabha term, the bill lapsed as it was not passed by Rajya Sabha.

What is the controversy?

As per the Foreigners Act 1946 and the Passport (Entry into India) Act 1920, any person who enters India without valid documents or stays beyond permitted time may land in jail or face deportation.

However, in 2015 and 2016, the Government of India exempted illegal immigrants belonging to certain groups from provisions of the acts. They are Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis and Christians from Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan who reached India on or before 31st December 2014.

According to the report published in Indian Express, illegal immigrants belonging to these groups will neither land in jail nor face deportation.

Is it another step towards nationwide NRC?

Earlier, Mr. Amit Shah, Union Home Minister had said that before the implementation of nationwide NRC, Citizenship Amendment Bill (CAB) will be passed.

It seems that CAB is the another step towards nationwide NRC.

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