New Delhi: The Union home ministry on Friday notified January 10 as the day on which the provisions of the Citizenship Amendment Act shall come into force. The amendments were passed in the Lok Sabha on December 9, 2019. The Bill was passed by the Rajya Sabha after two days. It became an Act after the President gave his nod a day after.
According to the amendments, Hindu, Sikh, Parsi, Buddhist and Christian immigrants from Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh will be given fast-track Indian citizenship as they faced religious persecution in those countries. Apart from this, six years of staying in India is another criterion, which was 12 years earlier.
“In exercise of the powers conferred by sub-section (2) of section 1 of the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019 (47 of 2019), the Central Government hereby appoints the 10th day of January 2020, as the date on which the provisions of the said Act shall come into force,” the notification said. The appointed day is a day on which an Act officially comes to effect.
The Gujarat Assembly, too, passed a resolution supporting the Act.
The move comes amid massive protests against the amendment across the country. Several petitions against the law have been filed in the Supreme Court. On Thursday, the Supreme Court said that it would hear the petitions once the nationwide violence stops. “The nation is going through critical times…the attempt must be to bring peace…these petitions don’t help the cause,” said the bench.
Several states, including West Bengal, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Maharashtra, have opposed to the Act. But the Centre said that the states can’t choose to not implement the Act as the issue of citizenship comes under the Union list in the 7th schedule of the Constitution.
Kerala Assembly has passed a resolution to scrap the amendment.
According to reports, the Uttar Pradesh government has already started implementing CAA by identifying people who do not belong to those five religions and have been staying in India.