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Union govt to notify CAA rules before LS poll announcement

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NEW DELHI, Feb 27: 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 election schedule is announced, which is likely in the next fortnight.
The rules for the CAA is 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 neighbouring countries.
According to the Manual on Parliamentary Work, the rules for any legislation should have been framed within six months of presidential assent or seek extension from the Committees on Subordinate Legislation in Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha. Since 2020, the MHA has been taking extension in regular interval from the parliamentary committee for framing the rules.
Meanwhile, in 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 naturalisation is given under the Citizenship Act, 1955 to non-Muslim minorities from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan are: Gujarat, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, Haryana, Punjab, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Delhi and Maharashtra.
Earlier, Home Minister Amit Shah had reiterated the act’s objective, emphasising its humanitarian intent to grant citizenship solely to those subjected to persecution in the neighbouring nations.
“There is misinformation and incitement targeting our Muslim brothers regarding the CAA. The CAA is solely meant to grant citizenship to people, who sought refuge in India due to persecution in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh, and it does not aim to deprive anyone of their Indian citizenship,” Shah had said. (Agencies)

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