05 December, 2019
Syllabus subtopic: Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.
News: The Union Cabinet chaired by PM Narendra Modi cleared the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2019 on Wednesday paving the way for its introduction in Parliament on December 9.
Prelims and Mains focus: About the key features of the Bill, its significance and concerns raised against the Bill; Assam accord, NRC
About the Bill
The purpose of the Bill says that it will enable acquisition of Indian citizenship by persons who were forced to seek shelter in India due to persecution or fear of it on grounds of religion and will extend the facility to the class of persons presently facing hardships and difficulties in acquiring citizenship.
The earlier form of the Bill cleared by the Lok Sabha in January did not have these provisions.
Concerns of Northeastern States
Northeastern States erupted in protests against the Bill as it will nullify the provisions of the Assam Accord of 1985, which fixed March 24, 1971, as the cutoff date for deportation of all illegal immigrants, irrespective of religion.
The National Register of Citizens (NRC) in Assam was updated as per the accord. The Bill says the six non-Muslim communities “shall not be treated as illegal migrant” for violating provisions under Passport Act, 1920 or the Foreigners Act, 1946 that pertains to foreigners entering and staying in India illegally.
The Bill also proposes to protect the applicants under this category from all pending legal cases.
“On and from the date of commencement of the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2019, any proceedings pending against a person under this section in respect of illegal migration or citizenship shall stand abated on conferment of citizenship to him,” the Bill says.
The immediate beneficiaries of this amendment would be the nonMuslim people out of the over 19lakh people who were excluded from Assam’s National Register of Citizens (NRC) published on August 31.
About the Assam Accord 1985 and NRC
Source: The Hindu
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