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Citizenship Amendment Act

Authors: Devansh Mani and Aayush Agarwal, Students, SYMBIOSIS LAW SCHOOL, PUNE, India

Abstract

By the means of this paper, we aim to address the controversial topic of the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019 and National Citizenship Registration which took the national capital region, as well as the whole of India, by storm; and provide arguments for its legal backing. Citizenship Amendment Act was passed by the Government of India on 11th December 2019 and it provided a leaner process to get Indian citizenship for the illegal migrants of Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, Parsee, and Christian religious minorities from Afghanistan, Pakistan and Bangladesh who faced religious persecution in these respective countries due to either the societal inequality or inequality of fairness in law. In this amendment, migrants who had come to India by 31st December 2014 were made eligible for citizenship under this act. It also eased the residence requirement for naturalization of the migrants from twelve to six years. The law of migrations has been discussed in detail post-independence and the movement in Assam which gave rise to the making of this Citizenship Amendment Act. This act does not violate Article 14 of the Constitution which defines ‘Equality before Law’, does not violate Article 15 of the Constitution which explains ‘Prohibition of discrimination, does not violate Article 21 defining ‘Protection of rights and personal liberty’ of the people and neither does it violate Article 25 defining ‘Profession, practice and propagation of any religion’. Some people have criticized this act for being insensitive and discriminatory towards the people of Islam. But CAA is only focused on religious persecution of the minorities in their given countries as the sole reason to provide them citizenship is that these neighbouring countries are Islamic states and religious persecution of Muslims is unlikely to happen on such high scale. Keywords: Citizenship (Amendment)Act 2019, Religious Persecution, Citizenship, Constitution.

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