Protests have broken out across India, a few of them violent, against the Citizenship Amendment Act 2019. The Act seeks to ammend the definition of illegal immigrant for Hindu, Sikh, Parsi, Buddhist and Christian immigrants from Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh, who have lived in India without any documents. They will be granted fast track Indian citizenship in 6 years. Till now 12 years of residence has been the standard eligibility requirement for naturalisation.

To this the petitioners say that the bill violates the constitution. They say that the bill discriminates against Muslims and violates the right to equality enshrined in the constitution.

Centre says that these minority groups have come escaping persecution in Muslims majority nations. However, the logic is not correct- the bill does not protect all religious minorities, nor does it apply to all neighbours. Rohingya Muslims and Hindus face persecution in Burma, and Hindu and Christian Tamils in Sri Lanka. The Ahmedia Muslims sect and even shias face discrimination in Pakistan. The government says that Muslims can seek refuge in Islamic countries, and no further questions were answered.Amit Shah says that the bill would not have been necessary if there was no partition on the basis of religion. However, India was not created on the basis of religion Pakistan was only the Muslim League and Hindu right advocated the two nations theory of Hindu and Muslim nations, which led to partition.


However, CAB won’t apply to areas under the sixth schedule of the constitution which deals with autonomous tribal-dominated regions in Assam, Meghalaya, Tripura and Mizoram. The bill was also not applied to states that have inner line permit regime(Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland and Mizoram).After the protest done against Citizenship Amendment Act, The President gave his assent to the Citizenship Amendment Bill 2019, on December 12 a day after it was passed by the Rajya Sabha.

However, The Home Minister, Amit Shah has yet to notify the rules to operationalise the law. The notification of rules may now have to wait as a decision in this regard ill be taken after seeking expert’s advice since the matter is sub judice before the Supreme Court.


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