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The reality behind the Citizenship Act

Since last few days, there has been a huge mess in our Country due to the Amendment in CitizenShip Act and the NRC in Assam.

Unfortunately, I was unable to access the NRC or any official Statement from the Government of India with respect to the said NRC.

Coming back to the Citizenship Act, there is unnecessary confusion that is caused by many people. First of all the new Bill is an Amendment to the Act that is already in Existence. An Amendment means that an addition or removal of an Article or Section from an Existing Law. A lot of times, Amendment is required to change the law as per the Changing Times.

For Example:- Indian Penal Code and Code of Criminal Procedure, which are the basic Criminal Code and procedure, were Amended post the introduction of Information Technology Act. To add more relevant sections to include crime related to Information Technology.

Hereunder is what the Original Section 2 of the said Act is read at present:

Section 2 of Every Act, is usually the Definition Act, i.e. it Defines different Acts and Deeds as per the requirement of the Act.

Section 2 of the Citizenship Act, 1955, pre- Amendment read as,

[“Illegal migrant”, means a foreigner, who has entered in India –

(i) without a valid passport or other travel documents and such other document or authority as may be prescribed by or under any law in that behalf; or

(ii) with a valid passport or other travel documents and such other document or authority as may be prescribed ny or under any law in that behalf but remains therein beyond the permitted period of that time;]

The said Amendment is proposed to be made under the Definition of Illegal Immigrants.

2. In the Citizenship Act, 1955 (hereinafter referred to as the principal Act), in section 2, in sub-section (1), in clause (b), the following proviso shall be inserted, namely:— “Provided that any person belonging to , Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, Parsi or Christian community from Afghanistan, Bangladesh or Pakistan, who entered into India on or before the 31st day of December, 2014 and who has been exempted by the Central Government by or under clause (c) of sub-section (2) of section 3 of the Passport (Entry into India) Act, 1920 or from the application of the provisions of the Foreigners Act, 1946 or any rule or order made thereunder, shall not be treated as illegal migrant for the purposes of this Act;”.

The said section deals exclusively with just defining, who is an illegal immigrant and nothing beyond that. Strangely, when I had first searched for the complete Citizenship Act on my phone, I was unable to get the Bare Act, but just the news Articles popped up. The reason for including all the religions except Muslims, is because in the three countries. PAkistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan, these religions are minorities and often history has witnessed that Minorities do need protection.

Secondly, in India, population and maintainence of Population is a real big issue. It is almost impossible to satisfy all the needs of the vast and varied Demographics

Apart from the news articles, I was unable to find any relevant content or act with respect to the NRC. If you have a copy of the official gazette or official information, please do send across the link.

Aishwarya Sandeep View All

I am a practising Advocate from Mumbai and also write blogs on different platforms. I have my own YouTube Channel through which I intend to change the way law is taught in our Counrty. This Website is a platform that I use to express myself

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