The hugely controversial Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) was passed by Parliament on December 11, 2019 and received the Presidential nod the following day. In a step towards getting the fine print ready, Monday saw the Union Home Ministry approach the parliamentary committees seeking more time for framing rules under the CAA.
The objective of the CAA is to grant Indian citizenship to persecuted minorities like Hindus, Sikhs, Jains, Buddhists, Parsis and Christians from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan. Those who came to India till December 31, 2014, to escape religious persecution in their country of origin, will not be treated illegal immigrants.
According to the Manual on Parliamentary Work, the rules for any legislation should have been framed within six months of presidential assent or seek extension from the Committees on Subordinate Legislation, Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha.
Since the MHA could not frame rules within six months of the enactment of the CAA, it sought time for the committees — first in June 2020 and then four more times. The fifth extension came to an end on Monday.
The Central government has already made it clear that Indian citizenship to the eligible beneficiaries of the CAA will be given only after rules under the legislation are notified.