More than 20 days after the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA), 2019, was passed by Parliament, the government is treading cautiously on framing the rules that will govern the law.
A senior government official said that though the Act has the provision to grant citizenship to members of six communities from Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh who entered India illegally, the applicants will have to prove that they entered the country before December 31, 2014.
Proof of entry
“They will have to show some proof that they entered India before the cut-off date; each application will be examined carefully before the citizenship is granted,” the official said.
In an open letter on Friday, Punjab Chief Minister Capt. Amarinder Singh warned that the CAA could be misused for infiltration as “any person claiming to be of the six religions could simply apply in terms of the amended law, prove entry on/before the cut-off date and be eligible for citizenship”.
The official said the government has not asked the States for their suggestions yet but was minutely examining each aspect before the rules are finalised.
Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal said on Wednesday that the State government had provided suggestions to the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) for framing of the rules under the CAA.
The Kerala Assembly passed a resolution earlier this week asking the Centre to withdraw the CAA. Seven other Opposition-ruled States — West Bengal, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Punjab, Puducherry and Chhattisgarh — have refused to implement the CAA.
An official said all applications under the CAA will have to be made online and the final decision to grant citizenship rests with the MHA. The verification of each applicant, however, has to be done by the local police also.