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Centre seeks another six months to frame CAA rules

Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA).

Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA).

The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has sought another six-months to frame the rules of the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019 (CAA), a legislation to fast-track the citizenship process of six non-Muslim undocumented communities from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan.

The Ministry has written to the subordinate committee on parliamentary legislation of both the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha.

Without the rules being framed, the Act cannot be implemented.

The last three-month extension was sought on January 9 on the grounds that the construction of the rules require more consultation and the delay is on account of COVID-19 pandemic.

A senior government official confirmed that the request for an extension till October 9 has been sent to the parliamentary committee. This is the fifth extension sought by the government.

The CAA was passed by the Parliament on December 11 in 2019 and it received assent from the President on December 12. In January, 2020, the Ministry notified that the Act will come into force from January 10 that year. Earlier, the Ministry had sought time from the committees till April 9, 2021, which was extended to July 9, 2021. A request was made to further extend the period to January 9, then April 9 and now till October 9 to notify the rules which are to be published in the Gazette of India.

CAA has provision to grant citizenship to members of six minority communities from Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh who entered India before December 31, 2014. The Ministry had earlier said that the entire process will be online. It exempts the members of the six communities from any criminal case under Foreigners Act, 1946 and Passport Act, 1920. The two Acts specify punishment for entering the country illegally and staying here on expired visas and permits.

As many as 83 persons were killed in protests and riots from December 2019 to March 2020 in Assam, Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka, Meghalaya and Delhi after the CAA was passed.

According to the Manual on Parliamentary Work, in case the Ministries/Departments are not able to frame the rules within the prescribed period of six months after a legislation is passed, “they should seek extension of time from the Committee on Subordinate Legislation stating reasons for such extension.”

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Printable version | Apr 9, 2022 7:49:58 am |