National

Citizenship Act to be amended soon

The decision will benefit mostly Hindus from Pakistan, Bangladesh

The National Democratic Alliance government is likely to introduce a Bill in the monsoon session of Parliament to amend the definition of “illegal migrants” that will enable the government to grant citizenship to minorities, mostly Hindus, from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan, who have fled their country fearing religious persecution.

The Union Cabinet recently gave its approval to empower district magistrates to allow facilities such as purchase of property, issue of driving licence and self-employment for Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis and Christians staying on Long Term Visa (LTV) in India.

A senior government official said most of these people did not have proper travel documents on them and their passports were either expired or they did not have one.

According to Section 2 (b) of the Citizenship Act, 1955, “Illegal migrant means a foreigner who has entered India without a valid passport or other travel documents or with a valid passport or travel document, but remains therein beyond the permitted period of time.”

The definition of illegal migrant was inserted in 2004 through an amendment to the Citizenship Act.

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Printable version | Feb 27, 2020 2:55:46 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/Citizenship-Act-to-be-amended-soon/article14491019.ece

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