Follow Us:
Saturday, June 25, 2022

Explained: How the citizenship amendment law differs from Bill that LS cleared in January

To amend the Citizenship Act, 1955, an earlier version of the CAB was introduced in 2016. This Bill was passed by Lok Sabha on January 8, 2019. However, it lapsed with the dissolution of the 16th Lok Sabha this summer.

By: Explained Desk | New Delhi |
Updated: December 14, 2019 10:09:22 am
Citizenship Amendment Bill, Citizenship Amendment Bill 2019, CAB, CAB 2019, CAB in Lok Sabha, CAB in Rajya Sabha, CAB protests, Citizenship Bill protests, Express Explained, Indian Express People participate in a torchlight procession to protest against the Citizenship Amendment Bill (CAB) in Guwahati, Assam. (AP Photo/Anupam Nath)

Late on Thursday, the Union Law Ministry issued an official notification, which stated that President Ram Nath Kovind has given his assent to the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill (CAB), 2019. The Bill seeks to grant citizenship to individuals who are Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Christian, Jain, or Parsi who entered India from Pakistan, Bangladesh, or Afghanistan by the cut-off date of December 31, 2014.

To amend the Citizenship Act, 1955, an earlier version of the CAB was introduced in 2016. This Bill was passed by Lok Sabha on January 8, 2019. However, it lapsed with the dissolution of the 16th Lok Sabha this summer.

The Bill, that has just become law, differs from the Bill that was passed by Lok Sabha in January in a couple of significant aspects. According to an analysis of the Bills published by PRS Legislative Research, they are:

Best of Express Premium
Parallel lives: Shinde mentor Anand Dighe, Sena strongman and a thorn in ...Premium
Ex-AAP Uttarakhand CM face: ‘AAP has one-man decision-making policy, a si...Premium
At Digital Pratik’s ‘JorrDaar’ event, the only way in is an NFT ticketPremium
In 1978, it was Sharad Pawar who had led a rebel group and toppled Mahara...Premium

Applicability of the new law in certain parts of India

Under the new citizenship law, illegal migrants belonging to these six religions from the three specified countries shall be deemed to be citizens of India from the date of their entry into India, and all legal proceedings against them in respect of their illegal migration or citizenship will be closed when they acquire citizenship.

The important exception, added in the law, however, is this: The provisions on citizenship for illegal migrants will not apply to the tribal areas of Assam, Meghalaya, Mizoram, or Tripura, as included in the Sixth Schedule to the Constitution.

These tribal areas include Karbi Anglong (in Assam), Garo Hills (in Meghalaya), Chakma District (in Mizoram), and Tripura Tribal Areas District.

It will also not apply to the areas under the “Inner Line” under the Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulation, 1873. The “Inner Line Permit” regulates the travel of Indians to Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoram, and Nagaland.

Manipur too has been given protection under the Inner Line Permit regime, which means the provisions of the law will not be applicable in four Northeastern states.

Eligibility for citizenship by naturalisation

The original Citizenship Act allows a person to apply for citizenship by naturalisation, if the person has resided in India, or been in central government service for the last 12 months, and at least for 11 years of the preceding 14 years.

The Bill passed by Lok Sabha in January created an exception for Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis and Christians from Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan, with regard to this qualification. For these groups of persons, the 11 years’ requirement was reduced to 6 years.

The new citizenship Act has further reduced the period of naturalisation for such group of persons from six years to five years, the PRS analysis says.

Don’t miss from Explained | Disha Bill: What are the highlights of Andhra Pradesh’s new law?

Express Subscription Do not hit the wall, subscribe for the best coverage out of India starting at just $5 per month

📣 Join our Telegram channel (The Indian Express) for the latest news and updates

For all the latest Explained News, download Indian Express App.

  • Newsguard
  • The Indian Express website has been rated GREEN for its credibility and trustworthiness by Newsguard, a global service that rates news sources for their journalistic standards.
  • Newsguard
0 Comment(s) *
* The moderation of comments is automated and not cleared manually by