Citizenship Act, passed by Parliament last month, comes into effect in India

Assam is the only state in India to have a citizenship register. Villagers in Assam stand in line to check their names on the first draft of NRC in 2018. Photo: CNN. Sketched by the Pan Pacific Agency.

NEW DELHI, Jan 11, 2020, Hindustan Times. The contentious Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019 that grants citizenship on the basis of religion came into force on Friday, Hindustan Times reported.

In a gazette notification, the Union home ministry said the act under which non-Muslim refugees from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan will be given Indian citizenship, will come into force from January 10.

“In exercise of the powers conferred by sub-section (2) of the section 1 of the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019 (47 of 2019), the Central government hereby appoints the 10th day of January, 2020, as the date on which the provisions of the said Act shall come into force,” the notification said.

The CAA was passed by parliament on December 11 last year.

Critics say that the Act is discriminatory and violates Article 14 of the Constitution, however, PM Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah have on several occasions underlined that it only provides a refuge to the six communities who have faced religious persecution in the three countries mentioned above.

Amid raging protests across the country over the Act, the home minister made it clear that the government won’t move back even an inch on the Act. The government has been saying that the minority groups from the three countries have no other option but to come India when they face religious persecution there.

The home ministry, however, is yet to frame the rules for the act.

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