Centre issues first set of citizenship certificates to 14 persons under CAA | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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Centre issues first set of citizenship certificates to 14 persons under CAA

ByNeeraj Chauhan
May 15, 2024 05:09 PM IST

West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee has said she would oppose the CAA if it curtailed Indian citizens’ existing rights in any manner

New Delhi: The Centre on Wednesday issued the first set of citizenship certificates to 14 individuals under the Citizenship Amendment Act or the CAA, almost four and a half years after the controversial law was brought in, the Union home ministry (MHA) said. 

The first set of citizenship certificates were handed over to the applicants by Union home secretary Ajay Kumar Bhalla in New Delhi (ANI Photo)
The first set of citizenship certificates were handed over to the applicants by Union home secretary Ajay Kumar Bhalla in New Delhi (ANI Photo)

The first set of citizenship certificates were handed over to the applicants by Union home secretary Ajay Kumar Bhalla in New Delhi, who congratulated the recipients. The home ministry notified Citizenship (Amendment) Rules, 2024, on March 11 this year. 

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The rules envisage the manner of application form, the procedure for processing applications by the District Level Committee (DLC), and the scrutiny and grant of citizenship by the state level Empowered Committee (EC). 

Over the last two months, several applications have been received by the MHA from individuals belonging to Hindu, Sikh, Jain, Buddhist, Parsi and Christian communities from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan, who entered India up to December 31, 2014, on account of persecution on grounds of religion or fear of such persecution. 

The DLCs chaired by the senior superintendents of post/superintendents of post as designated officers, on successful verification of documents, administered the oath of allegiance to the applicants, the MHA said in a statement.

Also Read: Won’t let anyone repeal CAA law: Modi at rallies in Bengal

After processing as per rules, DLCs have forwarded the applications to the State Level Empowered Committee headed by the director (census operation). Processing of applications is completely done through the online portal, it added.

“The Empowered Committee, headed by the director (census operation), Delhi, after due scrutiny, have decided to grant citizenship to 14 applicants. Accordingly, the director (census operation) granted certificates to these applicants”, MHA stated on Wednesday. 

The CAA law was passed in December 2019, but the underlying rules were not framed. Its passage resulted in protests that petered out only with the COVID-19 pandemic and a clutch of petitions that remain before the Supreme Court.

West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee has said she would oppose the CAA if it curtailed Indian citizens’ existing rights in any manner.

The CAA rules have a provision which states that refugees from six minority communities from the three countries (Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan) applying for the grant of citizenship by registration or naturalisation will have to submit an application, an affidavit verifying the correctness of the statements made in it, another affidavit from an Indian citizen testifying to their character, and a declaration that they are familiar with one of the languages specified in the eighth schedule to the Constitution of India. 

The rules say that the application will have to be submitted in electronic form to an empowered committee through the district-level committee, which may be notified by the central government, and be supported by documents such as copy of passport issued by Pakistan, Afghanistan or Bangladesh governments – birth certificate, an identity document of any other kind, land or tenancy records, or any document that shows that either of the parents or grandparents or great grandparents of the applicant were a citizen of one of the three countries.

The rules state that these documents will be admissible even beyond their validity period. 

Applicants also have to provide proof that they entered India before December 31, 2014, which can take the form of either a visa and immigration stamp, registration certificate from the Foreigners Regional Registration Officer (FRRO), or slip issued by the Census enumerators in India, government-issued licence or certificate or permit in India (including Driving License, Aadhaar number, ration card, or marriage certificate issued in India etc).

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