CAA rules to be issued before MCC

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New Delhi: The rules for the implementation of the contentious Citizenship Amendment Act, 2019 (CAA) for fast-tracking citizenship to undocumented non-Muslim migrants from Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Afghanistan are likely to be issued before the Model Code of Conduct for the 2024 Lok Sabha elections comes into effect.

The Model Code of Conduct (MCC) gets enforced immediately after the election schedule is announced, which is likely in the next fortnight.

The rules for the CAA are likely to be issued before the MCC comes into effect, sources privy to the development said.

When the rules for the CAA are issued, the Modi government will start granting Indian citizenship to persecuted non-Muslim migrants — Hindus, Sikhs, Jains, Buddhists, Parsis, and Christians — from Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Afghanistan who had come to India till December 31, 2014.

The CAA was passed in December 2019 and it got the president’s assent subsequently.

However, the law could not be implemented so far as rules are a must for its implementation.

There were massive protests in some parts of the country after the CAA was passed by Parliament. Over a hundred people lost their lives during the protests or police action.

The Ministry of Home Affairs has readied a portal for the convenience of the applicants as the entire process will be online.

The applicants will have to declare the year when they entered India without travel documents. No document will be sought from the applicants, an official said.

According to the law, the benefits under the CAA will be given to the undocumented minorities from the three neighboring countries.

On December 27, Union Home Minister Amit Shah said that no one can stop the implementation of the CAA as it is the law of the land and accused West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee of misleading people on the issue.

Addressing a party meeting in Kolkata, Shah said it is the BJP’s commitment to implement the CAA.

The saffron party’s leaders consider it a plausible factor that led to the rise of the BJP in Bengal.

According to the Manual on Parliamentary Work, the rules for any legislation should have been framed within six months of presidential assent or seek an extension from the Committees on Subordinate Legislation in Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha.

Since 2020, the Home Ministry has been taking extensions at regular intervals from the parliamentary committee for framing the rules.

Meanwhile, in the last two years, over district magistrates and home secretaries of nine states have been given powers to grant Indian citizenship to Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis and Christians coming from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, and Pakistan under the Citizenship Act, 1955.

According to the annual report of the Ministry of Home Affairs for 2021-22, from April 1, 2021, to December 31, 2021, a total of 1,414 foreigners belonging to these non-Muslim minority communities from Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Afghanistan were given Indian citizenship by registration or naturalization under the Citizenship Act, 1955.

The nine states where Indian citizenship by registration or naturalization is given under the Citizenship Act, of 1955 to non-Muslim minorities from Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Afghanistan are Gujarat, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, Haryana, Punjab, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Delhi, and Maharashtra.

Interestingly, authorities of none of the districts of Assam and West Bengal, where the issue is politically very sensitive, have been given the powers so far.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by The Kashmir Monitor staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)