Govt May Take A Second Look At New Citizenship Law; Cut-off Year 1987

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Citizenship

Days of protest may have forced the government to take a second look at the Citizenship Amendment Act and seek views from the public on the draft.

A PTI tweet suggested an “official” of the Ministry of Home Affairs had said that the government was ready to accept suggestions, if any, from people who were staging protests against the new citizenship law.

The amended Citizenship Act seeks to provide citizenship to members of Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, Parsi and Christian communities who have entered India till December 31, 2014, following religious persecution in Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan.

Cut-off year 1987

Anyone born in India before July 1, 1987, or whose parents were born before that date are bona fide Indian citizens according to law and need not worry due to the Citizenship Amendment Act, 2019 (CAA) or a possible countrywide NRC, a top government official said on Friday.

According to the 2004 amendments of the Citizenship Act, people of the country, except those in Assam, whose one parent is an Indian and neither is an illegal immigrant are also considered Indian citizens.

The clarification came amid ongoing protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act 2019 and several versions of the recently enacted law being circulated in social media about.

Those who are born in India before July 1, 1987, or whose parents were born in the country before that year are considered Indians under naturalisation as per the law, the official said.

In case of Assam, the cut-off date for identification of an Indian citizen is 1971.

Asked about the possibility of rolling out the NRC for the whole country, the official said it was pre-mature to say anything on it as there has been no discussion on it.

“We also appeal to people to not compare the Citizenship Amendment Act with the NRC in Assam as the cut-off date for Assam is different,” the official said.

According to the 2004 amendments of the Citizenship Act, anyone who was born in India on or after January 26, 1950, but before July 1, 1987, anyone who was born in India on or after July 1, 1987 but before December 3, 2004, and where either of parents is a citizen of India at the time of birth are bona fide Indian citizens.

Those born outside India on or after December 10, 1992, but before December 3, 2004, and whose parent was citizen of India by birth at the time of his or her birth are also Indians.

If anyone was born in India on or after December 3, 2004, and if both the parents are citizens of India or one of the parents is a citizen of India and the other is not an illegal migrant at the time of his or her birth are also Indian citizens.

Violent protests have taken place in different parts of the country after Parliament passed the contentious legislation last week. At least three people were killed in police firing during protests in Assam, two others in Mangaluru and one in Lucknow.

Protests were staged against the CAA as well as possible rolling out of NRC for the whole country.

According to the CAA, members of Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, Parsi and Christian communities who have come from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan till December 31, 2014, due to religious persecution there will not be treated as illegal immigrants, and be given Indian citizenship.

(Agencies)

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