The Ministry of Home Affairs has sought an additional three months’ time to frame the rules for the Citizenship Amendment Act, which was passed by the Parliament in December, PTI reported on Sunday. The Act cannot come into force without guidelines on how the legislation will be implemented.
A plea was filed before the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Subordinate Legislation, an official told PTI. The committee is likely to accept the request, he added. As per the Manual of Parliamentary Procedure, the rules for any legislation must be framed within six months of presidential assent or an extension must be sought.
The manual also states that in case the ministries/departments are not able to frame the rules within the prescribed period of six months, “they should seek extension of time from the Committee on Subordinate Legislation stating reasons for such extension” which cannot be more than a period of three months at a time.
“The additional time has been sought to frame the rules as the ministry was busy in other work for the past several months,” an unidentified government official told Hindustan Times. “The rules will be framed soon.”
The home ministry’s move came after the Parliamentary panel questioned about the status of the rules last month.
The Citizenship Amendment Act, approved by Parliament on December 11, provides citizenship to refugees from six minority religious communities from Bangladesh, Afghanistan and Pakistan, on the condition that they have lived in India for six years and entered the country by December 31, 2014.
At least 80 were killed in protests that erupted across the country after the Act was passed. This includes two people in Karnataka, six in Assam, 19 in Uttar Pradesh, and 53 in Delhi. The protests stopped in March after the nationwide lockdown was in place to tackle the coronavirus crisis.
Critics fear that the CAA when used in conjunction with a proposed National Register of Indian Citizens will allow the government to force many Muslims to prove their citizenship.