The government has sought six more months to frame rules for the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA). The Ministry of Home Affairs on Tuesday told the Lok Sabha that it has sought time till January 9, 2022 to frame the rules.
“The Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019 (CAA) has been notified on 12.12.2019 and has come into force w.e.f. 10.01.2020. The Committees on Subordinate Legislation, Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha, have been requested to grant further extension of time upto 09.01.2022 to frame the rules under the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019,” Minister of State for Home Nityanand Rai said in a written reply to a question.
Congress leader Gaurav Gogoi had asked whether the government was aware that it had missed the deadline for framing of rules.
The MHA had earlier sought time till July 9 this year to frame the rules.
On February 2, the Ministry of Home Affairs had told the Lok Sabha that the rules for the controversial law were still being framed even as it had got an extension of time from Committees on Subordinate Legislation in both the Houses. While the Lok Sabha committee had granted it time till April 9, the Rajya Sabha committee had extended the deadline till July 9.
The MHA has been deliberating the rules for over a year without any headway, say sources. The rules are essential for implementation of the Act.
The legislation, which grants citizenship to illegal immigrants belonging to Hindu, Jain, Sikh, Parsi, Christian and Buddhist communities from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan, was passed by Parliament amid vehement criticism from the Opposition that pointed out communal agenda behind the law as it conspicuously left out Muslims.
The legislation has been interpreted in conjunction with repeated assertions by Home Minister Amit Shah — before the Act was passed — that there would be a nationwide exercise to prepare the National Register of Indian Citizens (NRC) to identify illegal immigrants. This was interpreted as a project to disenfranchise Muslims. While nationwide protests were seen following the passage of the law, multiple states have announced they would not implement the law.
Replying to another question, the MHA refused to disclose names of those arrested under Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) in Delhi last year.
The ministry said disclosing names of people against whom the Delhi Police has registered cases under the Act may “not be in a larger public interest” and may “impact” cases.
Minister of State for Home Affairs Nityanand Rai informed Lok Sabha in a written reply that the Delhi Police has registered nine cases under the law and arrested 34 people during 2020. “Disclosure of further details of cases may not be in a larger public interest as the same may impact the cases,” the minister said.