The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has been given one more term to frame the rules for the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA), 2019 for the seventh time. The Rajya Sabha has given the MHA a concession for the upcoming six months; the Lok Sabha still needs to approve it.
MHA reportedly claimed that they had contacted parliamentary committees to request more time. On December 11, 2019, the Citizenship Amendment Bill was approved by the Parliament, and after receiving the President’s approval, the Home Ministry informed the public the next day.
Hindu, Sikh, Jain, Buddhist, Parsi, and Christian individuals of the persecuted minority from Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Afghanistan who entered India on or before December 31, 2014, are eligible for citizenship under the CAA. The CAA’s rules have not yet been formulated, hence the law has not yet been put into effect.
Prior to this, the ministry had asked the Parliamentary Committees for extensions six times; the first extension was granted in June 2020. The Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha parliamentary committees on subordinate laws had already given the Home Ministry an extension until December 31, 2022, and January 9, 2023, respectively.
According to the manual on parliamentary work, if a ministry or department is unable to draught the rules within the allotted six months following the President’s approval of a law, “they should seek extension of time from the Committee on Subordinate Legislation stating reasons for such extension,” which cannot be longer than three months at a time.