MHA issues first set of citizenship certificates under CAA to 14 applicants

On Wednesday (15th May), the first batch of citizenship certificates under the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) were issued to 14 people, kicking off the process of providing Indian citizenship to persecuted non-Muslim migrants from Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Bangladesh.

According to an official spokesperson, Union Home Secretary Ajay Kumar Bhalla presented the certificates to the 14 people after their applications were processed online through a dedicated portal.

In a press release, the Ministry of Home Affairs said, “The Home Secretary congratulated the applicants and highlighted salient features of the Citizenship (Amendment) Rules, 2024. Secretary Posts, Director (IB), Registrar General of India, and senior officers were also present during the interactive session.”

“The Rules envisage manner of application form, procedure for processing applications by District Level Committee (DLC) and scrutiny and grant of citizenship by State Level Empowered Committee (EC). In pursuance of these rules, applications have been received from persons belonging to Hindu, Sikh, Jain, Buddhist, Parsi and Christian communities from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan who have entered into India up to 31.12.2014 on account of persecution on grounds of religion or fear of such persecution,” MHA added.

The Ministry said that upon successful verification of documents, the designated officers administered oath of allegiance to the applicants. “After processing as per rules, DLCs have forwarded the applications to the State Level Empowered Committee headed by Director (Census operation),” it said.

Notably, the Modi government notified CAA on 11th of March 2024 enabling the persons eligible under CAA-2019 to apply for a grant of Indian citizenship. Under the CAA, people belonging to persecuted minority groups in Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Afghanistan—including Christians, Parsis, Sikhs, Jains, Buddhists, Hindus, and Sikhs—who came to India on or before December 31, 2014, will be granted Indian citizenship.

The CAA, enabled in December 2019, offers Indian nationality to persecuted non-Muslim migrants from Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Afghanistan who arrived in India on or before December 31, 2014. These include Hindus, Sikhs, Jains, Buddhists, Parsis, and Christians. Following the enactment, the CAA received the president’s approval but the rules under which the Indian citizenship was granted were issued in March this year following over four years delay.

Notably, the CAA will not affect Indian citizens. It was introduced solely for the benefit of six minorities from Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Bangladesh.

Source: OpIndia

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