No plans to tweak Citizenship Amendment Act: Centre tells Rajya Sabha
The Centre told the Rajya Sabha in a written response on Wednesday that the government has no plans to revise the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) to include other minorities under the purview of the Act.
Minister of state for home affairs Nityanand Rai, in response to a written query by Indian Union Muslim League MP Abdul Wahab, told the Upper House of the Parliament that the those eligible to be covered by the CAA may submit applications for grant of citizenship after appropriate rules are notified by the Centre.
The CAA came into force on January 10, 2020, after it was notified on December 12, 2019.
"The Committees on Subordinate Legislation, Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha have been requested to grant extension of time upto 09.01.2022 to frame the rules under the CAA," Rai told the Parliament in writing.
The CAA allows persecuted minorities belonging to the Hindu, Sikh, Jain, Buddhist, Parsi and Christian communities from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan to avail Indian citizenship.
People belonging to these communities who arrived in India till December 31, 2014, owing to religious persecution in these three countries will not be treated as illegal migrants but will be provided with Indian citizenship, according to the provisions of the act.
Earlier this year, Union home minister Amit Shah said the Centre would enforce the CAA after the drive for vaccination against the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) is over.
The amended citizenship Act faced fierce protests against its implementation from opposition political parties and citizens' groups across the country soon after it was notified.
The opponents of CAA are of the view that the amended citizenship law coupled with the Centre's National Register of Citizens (NRC) exercise is intended to target Muslims living in India, a charge that the Bharatiya Janata Party government have attempted to discredit.
Speaking at the Hindustan Times Leadership Summit in 2019, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had said that the CAA would ensure access to a secured future to persecuted minorities and stressed that the law would not snatch anyone’s citizenship.