Prime Minister Narendra Modi
Prime Minister Narendra Modi

Modi government announces implementation of Citizenship Amendment Act

The CAA was passed in Parliament in 2019 with an overwhelming majority of 311:80. It aimed to expedite the process of granting Indian citizenship to “persecuted Hindus, Sikhs, Jains, Buddhists, Parsis, and Christians” from Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Afghanistan, who entered India till December 31, 2014.

The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) on Monday, March 11,  notified rules under the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA). Earlier in February, Union Home Minister Amit Shah had said that CAA will be notified and implemented before the upcoming Lok Sabha polls. The CAA Bill was passed in the Parliament on December 11, 2019. Since the Home Ministry could not frame rules within six months of the enactment of the CAA, it sought time for the committees—first in June 2020 and then nine more times. The last extension was sought in January 2024. 

According to the Manual on Parliamentary Work, the rules for any legislation should have been framed within six months of presidential assent or seek an extension from the Committees on Subordinate Legislation, Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha.

The CAA was passed in Parliament in 2019 with an overwhelming majority of 311:80. It aimed to expedite the process of granting Indian citizenship to “persecuted Hindus, Sikhs, Jains, Buddhists, Parsis, and Christians” from Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Afghanistan, who entered India till December 31, 2014.

The Act discriminates against Muslims, especially when combined with the National Register of Citizenship (NRC) and the National Population Register (NPR). Massive protests had erupted across the country following the passage of the CAA Bill.

Shaheen Bagh in New Delhi became an iconic protest site for the movement against CAA and inspired similar, countless sit-ins in various cities and towns across India. The protest commenced on 15 December 2019 and continued till 24 March 2020 against the implementation of the Act. December 15. In Chennai, around 3,000 people took part in the agitation, which was met with a violent clampdown by the Chennai police against the women protesters at Old Washermenpet. Several students of Jamia Millia Islamia in New Delhi were attacked by the Delhi Police during the CAA protest in 2019. 

Read: 'Will fight any govt that divides us': Women continue Chennai's Shaheen Bagh protest 

The state governments of Kerala, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal and Maharashtra had raised objections to the implementation of the CAA. The Kerala Assembly unanimously passed a resolution against the Union government’s proposed Uniform Civil Code (UCC), becoming the first legislature in the country to do so.  

Read: Kerala Assembly passes resolution against Uniform Civil Code, first in country

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