NEW DELHI: The Ministry of Home Affairs stated in Rajya Sabha that the rules under the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), 2019 are under preparation and the Act has already come into force with effect from October 1, 2020.
The Ministry made the statement on Wednesday after Congress MP Digvijaya Singh raised question on whether the ministry has drafted the rules to be notified under CAA. The Congress MP further questioned the ministry the details and date by which the rules under the amended citizenship act would be notified. "If yes, then what are details including the date by which the rules are expected to be notified. If not, then what are the reasons?" he questioned.
Responding to Singh's question on whether it has drafted the rules to be notified under CAA, Minister of State for Home Affairs Nityanand Rai said that the Act has been notified on December 12, 2019.
"It has come into force with effect from October 1, 2020. The rules under the Act are under preparation. The committee on Subordinate Legislation, Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha have granted an extension of time up to April 9 and July 9 respectively to frame these rules," Rai added.
The CAA was passed in December last year. The law grants citizenship to refugees belonging to minority religions like Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, Parsi, and Christian from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, and Pakistan who arrived in India before 2015. Since the Bill was announced and eventually amended, protests against the Act spread across the country. Protests in the Northeast too turned violent. In February last year, violence took place in the northeast area of Delhi between groups supporting and opposing the CAA which led to the deaths of at least 53 people.
Meanwhile, according to earlier reports, the Centre has given itself time till July 9 to frame and implement rules relating to the contended citizenship law. The Home Ministry had also informed a parliamentary panel that a decision on the national rollout of the equally contentious National Register of Citizens was still pending.
In December 2020, Home Minister Amit Shah had said the process of framing rules had been delayed due to the Covid-19 pandemic, and that it would be restarted once the vaccination drive began.
India began a nationwide Covid vaccination drive on January 16.
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