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The Citizenship Amendment Bill was presented in the Rajya Sabha on 11th December 2019. With 125 lawmakers in favour and 99 against it, the Bill was passed and later assented by the President Ram Nath Kovind. After the President’s sign, it’s no more a bill but an act now.
Citizenship Amendment Bill
Before Rajya Saba, the CAB was presented in the Lok Sabha where it was passed with a majority of 311 votes against 80. While the political parties like Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP), JD(U), SAD, AIADMK, BJD, TDP and YSR-Congress supported the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, the political party Shiv Sena didn’t take part in the voting.
According to the CAB, Hindus, Sikhs, Christians, Buddhist, Jains and Parsis from Afghanistan, Pakistan and Bangladesh who arrived in India before 31st December 2014 are eligible for citizenship.
To make things simpler for you to understand, the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill assures Indian Citizenship to the lakhs of immigrants of the given religions even if they lack documents to prove their residency. It also makes immigrant not belonging to the said communities ineligible for Indian citizenship.
Any illegal immigrants from Afghanistan, Pakistan and Bangladesh who belong to the above religions will not be deported or imprisoned if they aren’t carrying any valid documents for their residency in India.
The amended bill has reduced the duration of immigrants’ residency from 11 years to 5 years. The immigrants from the 3 countries and the said religions who entered India before 31st December 2014 would not be counted as illegal immigrants.
The CAB won’t apply to certain areas (tribal areas of Assam, Meghalaya, Mizoram, and Tripura) in the Northeast. Effectively, the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill is inapplicable in Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Mizoram along with almost the whole of Meghalaya and parts of Assam and Tripura.
The CAB also benefits Overseas Citizens of India (OCI) cardholders by giving them the right to travel, work and study in the country.
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