Understanding CAA Rules 2024: All You Need to Know

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Just ahead of the Lok Sabha elections, the Ministry of Home Affairs has recently issued the Citizenship Amendment Rules in accordance with the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA). These rules open pathways for minorities facing religious persecution in Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Afghanistan to acquire Indian citizenship. Additionally, individuals belonging to Hindu, Sikh, Jain, Christian, Buddhist, and Parsi communities from these nations will also be eligible for citizenship whunder these regulations, who had migrated to India on (or) before December 31, 2014.

What is Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA)?

The Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) is an Indian law enacted in December 2019. It provides a pathway to Indian citizenship for illegal immigrants who are Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, Parsi, or Christian migrants from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, and Pakistan, who entered India on or before December 31, 2014, and who have faced religious persecution in their home countries.

The CAA has been a topic of considerable debate and controversy due to concerns about its exclusion of Muslims and its potential impact on the secular fabric of India.

Eligibility Criteria: Who is eligible to apply for Citizenship

  1. The applicant must be a citizen of one of the following countries: Pakistan, Afghanistan, or Bangladesh.
  2. The applicant must belong to one of the recognized minority communities in their respective country, including Hindu, Sikh, Jain, Buddhist, Parsi, or Christian.
  3. The applicant must have entered India on or before December 31st, 2014.
  4. Individuals of Indian origin who have been ordinarily residing in India for at least seven years before applying for registration are eligible. (A person is considered of Indian origin if they or either of their parents were born in undivided India or in a territory that became part of India after August 15, 1947.)
  5. Applicants must have resided in India continuously for 12 months immediately preceding the application for registration, or have been in the country for at least 6 years during the 8 years immediately preceding the said period of 12 months.
  6. The applicant must possess adequate knowledge of a language specified in the Eighth Schedule to the Constitution.

Preparation Checklist: Essential Documents to Have On Hand

  • A sworn affidavit confirming the accuracy of the information provided in the application.
  • An affidavit endorsed by an Indian citizen attesting to the applicant’s character.
  • A declaration from the applicant asserting proficiency in one of the languages listed in the Eighth Schedule to the Constitution.
  • The rule stipulates that proficiency in the language is deemed sufficient if the applicant can speak, read, or write it.
  • Additional criteria such as character and language proficiency are mandated for citizenship under the newly established regulations.
  • The citizenship application process, delineated in Form VIIIA, necessitates the completion of various procedural stages and the provision of requisite documentation.

Documents for Online Upload:

  • Copy of any document listed in Schedule 1A (Annexure – 1)
  • Copy of any document listed in Schedule 1B (Annexure – 2)
  • Affidavit as per the format in Schedule 1C (Annexure – 3)
  • Copy of valid or expired Foreign Passport, if applicable
  • Copy of valid or expired Residential Permit, if applicable
  • Proof of parents’ date of birth, such as a copy of their passport or birth certificate. If passport is unavailable, …

What is the application submission process?

According to section 6B of the Citizenship Act, 1955, individuals seeking registration or naturalization must adhere to the following steps:

  1. Submission of Application: Applicants are required to electronically submit their applications to the Empowered Committee through the District Level Committee designated by the Central Government.
  2. Acknowledgment: Upon submission, an acknowledgment in Form IX is electronically generated for the applicant.
  3. Document Verification: The District Level Committee, led by a Designated Officer, verifies the documents submitted along with the application.
  4. Oath of Allegiance: The Designated Officer administers the oath of allegiance as specified in the Second Schedule to the Citizenship Act, 1955, to the applicant. The signed oath, along with confirmation of document verification, is electronically forwarded to the Empowered Committee.
  5. Consideration of Refusal: The designated committee holds the authority to reject the application if an applicant fails to appear in person despite being given reasonable opportunities.
  6. Renunciation Declaration: Each application includes a declaration by the applicant renouncing their citizenship of their current country, irrevocably and without future claim.

Regarding the status of petitions challenging the constitutional validity of CAA:

Numerous petitions have been filed contesting the constitutional validity of the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019, including those by RJD leader Manoj Jha, Trinamool Congress MP Mahua Moitra, and AIMIM leader Asaduddin Owaisi. Additionally, Muslim body Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind, All Assam Students Union (AASU), Peace Party, CPI, NGOs ‘Rihai Manch’ and Citizens Against Hate, advocate M L Sharma, and law students have approached the top court. The Supreme Court has issued notice to the Centre and sought its response by the second week of January on a batch of pleas challenging the CAA.

Areas where CAA does not apply:

The amendments introduced by the CAA do not extend to areas covered by the Constitution’s sixth schedule. These areas encompass autonomous tribal-dominated regions in Assam, Meghalaya, Tripura, and Mizoram. Consequently, migrants from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, and Pakistan belonging to the identified communities based on religion cannot be granted Indian citizenship if they are residents in these areas. Additionally, the CAA does not apply to states with an inner-line permit (ILP) regime, primarily found in North-East India.

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Parul Pathania
Parul Pathaniahttps://www.storifynews.com/
Parul Pathania is a prolific writer renowned for their incisive analysis and thought-provoking commentary on politics, government affairs, and societal issues. With a knack for distilling complex topics into digestible insights, Parul Pathania offers readers a valuable perspective on the ever-changing landscape of governance and public policy. Through their engaging writing, she illuminates the intricacies of political systems and provides a platform for informed discussions.

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