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Citizenship Amendment Act Gets Teeth

Application Process Required Documents And Necessary Know How

Arshi Saxena
Arshi Saxena

Published on: Mar 14, 2024

Tarusha Mathur
Tarusha Mathur

Updated on: Mar 29, 2024

(9 Ratings)
725

Introduction

Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) vide a notification dated March 11, 2024, has notified the much-awaited Citizenship (Amendment) Rules 2024, in furtherance of Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019, which has once again grabbed attention on the debate of Citizenship into spotlight. The 2019 legislation aims to benefit thousands of Hindus, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, Parsi, or Christian migrants from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan who entered India before December 31, 2014 and habituated as illegal migrants or on Long-Term Visa (LTV) and desires to have Indian Citizenship. This recent unfolding has been seen as striking move of Indian Government to provide a safe haven to these religious minorities who have suffered persecution and oppression for decades.

Intelligence Bureau in its testimony made to Joint Parliamentary Committee on Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2019, had stated that as per their records, there are 31,313 persons belonging to minority communities (Hindus- 25,447, Sikhs- 5,807, Christians- 55, Buddhists- 2 and Parsis- 2) who have been given long-term visa on the basis of their claim of religious persecution in their respective countries and want Indian citizenship.

This article further divulges in the eligibility and exemption for filing application in pursuant to newly introduced rules in harmony with the Citizenship Act, 1955 by throwing light on the requirements for applying for the Indian Citizenship.

Eligibility for the Citizenship before Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019

The Constitution of India provided for citizenship under Articles 5 to 11, which covered various aspects such as domicile, descent, and registration. Further, under the Citizenship Act, 1955, eligibility criteria are based on birth, descent, registration, naturalization, by incorporation of territory. During the course of last 07 decades, the Citizenship Act, 1955 has been amended various times such as 1986, 1992, 2003, 2005, 2015, and most recently in 2019 to address contemporary issues and challenges.

Applicability of Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019

Individuals from the Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, Parsi, or Christian communities originating from Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan, who arrived in India on or before December 31, 2014, who has faced religious persecution are eligible for Indian Citizenship under Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019.

Exemption

The Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019 clearly exempts few north-eastern states comprising of tribal regions of Assam, Meghalaya, Mizoram, or Tripura or areas under the Inner Line Permit (ILP) system under the Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulation, 1873, as covered and outlined in the Sixth Schedule of the Constitution.

Process for Application as per CAA Rules, 2024

  1. Under Section 6(B), the Filing of Application for the grant of citizenship by naturalization, fulfilling the qualifications specified in the Third Schedule, shall be submitted to Empowered Committee using Form VIIIA, in electronic form through District Level Committee.
  2. This form encompasses all necessary details and documentation required for the naturalization process. The documents which are required to be submitted includes:
    • an affidavit verifying the correctness of the statements made in the application along with an affidavit from an Indian citizen testifying the character of the applicant; and
    • a declaration from the applicant that he has adequate knowledge of one of the languages as specified in the Eighth Schedule to the Constitution.
  3. Generation of acknowledgment receipt in Form IX, electronically.
  4. Verification of documents submitted alongwith application by Designated Officers under District Level Committee.
  5. Administer Oath of Allegiance as specified under Second Schedule to the Citizenship Act, 1955 by signing in electronic format alongwith confirmation post scrutinizing the documents by Empowered Committee.
  6. The citizen will be provided a digital certificate of naturalization under Form XIIA signed by Chairman of Empowered Committee.

Closing Remarks

As the Citizenship Amendment Act 2019 embodies India’s response to humanitarian crises faced by migrants belonging to neighboring countries, the Implementation of CAA Rules, 2024 will have dynamic impact on the legal and political landscape of India. This latest development has ushered a new hope in lives of persecuted religious minorities by shedding the status of illegal migrants and embrace the Indian citizenship, in midst of all uproar and heavy criticism from various section of the society. In coming time, it will be fascinating to witness if the Act will do justice to the touchstone of Constitution as the constitutional validity of the Act has been challenged and pending before Honorable Supreme Court since 2019.

Disclaimer

The information provided in this article is intended for general informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. The content of this article is not intended to create and receipt of it does not constitute any relationship. Readers should not act upon this information without seeking professional legal counsel.

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