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  • 04 January, 2020

  • 3 Min Read

CAA will leave many children stateless: plea

Syllabus subtopic: Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.

Prelims and Mains focus: about the concerns raised by the plea; about CAA 2019 and its significance

News: The citizenship law which differentiates children on the basis of their date of birth will leave many stateless, a petition filed in the Supreme Court on Friday contended.

What did the plea challenge?

Besides challenging the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019, for discrimination in the grant of citizenship on the basis of religion, the petition filed by Association for Protection of Civil Rights, an NGO, challenged the validity of Section 3 (1) of the original Citizenship Act, 1955.

What does Section 3(1) of the Citizenship Act, 1955 say?

Section 3(1) creates three scenarios:

  1. It mandates that children born in India on or after January 26, 1950, but before July 1, 1987, are entitled to citizenship by birth.
  2. Secondly, it says children born in India on or after July 1, 1987, but before December 3, 2004, would be entitled to Indian citizenship by birth only if either of the parents is an Indian citizen.
  3. Thirdly, it provides that children born in India on or after December 3, 2004, would be entitled to Indian citizenship by birth only if both of parents are citizens or one of the parents is a citizen and the other is not an illegal migrant.

What does this mean?

Hence, while there are conditions for children born between 1950 and 1987, children born in the second and third time-frame may end up stateless.

  • Those children who were born in India on or after July 1, 1987, but before December 3, 2004, whose parents were illegal migrants would not be granted citizenship but would not even be considered illegal migrants within Section 3(2) (b) of the Citizenship Act, 1955.
  • Similarly, those children who were born in India on or after December 3, 2004, either of whose parents was an illegal migrant, would again not be granted citizenship,” the petition contended.
  • The court will hear the petitions against the CAA and the NRC on January 22.

Source: The Hindu

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