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Union Home Ministry order invites citizenship

Topic covered: Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.

Union Home Ministry order invites citizenship


Context:

Union Home Ministry order inviting citizenship applications faces Supreme Court challenge. A recent petition filed in the Supreme Court said the government order “utterly discriminates and deprives a class of persons namely, the Muslims”.

 Background:

The Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019 seeks to amend the Citizenship Act, 1955.

  1. The Citizenship Act,1955 provides various ways in which citizenship may be acquired.
  2. It provides for citizenship by birth, descent, registration, naturalisation and by incorporation of the territory into India.

About CAA:

  1. The objective of the CAA is to grant Indian citizenship to persecuted minorities — Hindu, Sikh, Jain, Buddhist, Parsi and Christian — from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan.
  2. Those from these communities who had come to India till December 31, 2014, facing religious persecution in their respective countries, will not be treated as illegal immigrants but given Indian citizenship.
  3. The Act provides that the central government may cancel the registration of OCIs on certain grounds.

Exceptions:

  1. The Act does not apply to tribal areas of Tripura, Mizoram, Assam and Meghalaya because of being included in the 6th Schedule of the Constitution.
  2. Also areas that fall under the Inner Limit notified under the Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulation, 1873, will also be outside the Act’s purview.

Issues surrounding the law:

  1. It violates the basic tenets of the Constitution. Illegal immigrants are distinguished on the basis of religion.
  2. It is perceived to be a demographic threat to indigenous communities.
  3. It makes illegal migrants eligible for citizenship on the basis of religion. This may violate Article 14 of the Constitution which guarantees the right to equality.
  4. It attempts to naturalise the citizenship of illegal immigrants in the region.
  5. It allows cancellation of OCI registration for violation of any law. This is a wide ground that may cover a range of violations, including minor offences.

 

InstaCurious:

Do you know What Safe-Conduct is in International Law? Read Here

 

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. About CAA.
  2. Features 
  3. Religions covered.
  4. Countries Covered.
  5. Exceptions. 

Mains Link:

Discuss the issues surrounding the implementation of CAA.