Indian Union Muslim League, a powerful political outfit in Kerala, has moved the Supreme Court to put a stay on the Government of India’s recent notification inviting applications from non-Muslim refugees to grant them Citizenship.
Thousands of Hindus and other persecuted minorities from Afghanistan, Pakistan and Bangladesh have crossed over to India ever since India’s independence. Due to the lack of citizenship, these refugees are deprived of basic facilities.
IUML claims that the party is against issuing citizenship on the basis of ‘religion’ and keeping Muslims out of the list was against the spirit of the Indian ‘constitution’.
Centre invites applications for citizenship from Hindus and other persecuted religious minorities from Afghanistan, Pakistan and Bangladesh who have taken shelter in India
The Centre has invited Hindus, Sikhs, Jains, Buddhists, Parsis and Christians belonging to Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan and residing in 13 districts of Gujarat, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, Haryana and Punjab to apply for Indian citizenship.
The Union Home Ministry issued a notification in this regard yesterday for immediate implementation of the order under the Citizenship Act 1955. People who are eligible to apply for Indian citizenship are those currently living in the districts of Morbi, Rajkot, Patan and Vadodara of Gujarat, Durg and Balodabazar in Chhattisgarh, Jalore, Udaipur, Pali, Barmer and Sirohi in Rajasthan, Faridabad in Haryana and Jalandhar in Punjab.
Provisions of the CAA
The Act amends the Citizenship Act of 1955 to provide that Hindus, Shiks, Buddhists, Jains, and Christians from Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan will not be treated as illegal migrants. ( with the cut off date 31 December 2014) to get this benefit, they must have also been exempted from the Foreigners act 1946 and the passport ( Entry into India act) 1920 by the central government. The Bill says that on acquiring citizenship: (i) such persons shall be deemed to be citizens of India from the date of their entry into India. and (ii) All legal proceedings against them in respect to the issues and disputes concerning the migration or their citizenship will be closed. The bill adds that the provisions on citizenship for illegal migrants will not apply to the tribal areas of Assam, Meghalaya, Mizoram, or Tripura as included in the Sixth Schedule of the constitution.
This act also shall not apply to the areas under the Inner Line Permit (ILP), that regulates the visit of Indians to Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoram and Nagaland. This Inner Line was created by Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulation, 1873 to grant protection to preserve their indigenous demographic and cultural character. The application of ILP shall also be extended to the state of Manipur. The Act further reduces the period of naturalisation for such group of persons from eleven years to five years. This act provides for the sixth ground for the canceling the OCI ( Overseas Citizen of India ) registration, which is " If the OCI has violated any law that is in force in the country, his/her OCI registration will be canceled ".