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CAA rules under preparation, no NRC plan for now: Government tells Lok Sabha

The Citizenship (Amendment) Act rules are under preparation and no decision has been taken on a nationwide National Register of Citizens (NRC) yet, the Union Minister of State for Home Nityanand Rai informed Lok Sabha on Tuesday. 

CAA rules under preparation, no NRC plan for now: Government tells Lok Sabha

New Delhi: The Citizenship (Amendment) Act rules are under preparation, the Union Minister of State for Home Nityanand Rai informed Lok Sabha on Tuesday. The Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA), 2019 was notified on December 12, 2019 and it came into force with effect from January 10, 2020.

"The Rules under The Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019 are under preparation. The Committees on Subordinate Legislation, Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha have granted extension of time up to April 9 and July 9, respectively to frame these rules under the CAA," Rai said in a written reply.

The government also clarified in the Rajya Sabha Tuesday that no decision has been taken on a nationwide National Register of Citizens (NRC) yet. Union Home Minister Amit Shah had earlier said the NRC would follow the CAA. An NRC is planned to identify illegal immigrants, the government had said.

The central government has said that it is not considering country-wide NRC right now. According to a report by the Indian Express, in response to the recommendations of the Parliamentary Standing Committee report of the Home Ministry regarding the issue of apprehensions related to the National Population Register (NPR) and Census 2021, the government said, "All personal level information collected in the census is confidential." 

In February 2020, a committee led by Congress MP Anand Sharma found that there is a lot of discontent and fear among the people about the upcoming census and NPR. The report made on the basis of action in this regard was presented in the Rajya Sabha on Tuesday.

The Parliamentary Work manual states that "statutory rules, regulations and bye-laws will be framed within a period of six months from the date on which the relevant statute came into force".

It is also stated that in case the ministries and 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 for a period of three months at a time.

The CAA will grant Indian citizenship to persecuted non-Muslim minorities like Hindu, Sikh, Jain, Buddhist, Parsi and Christian, from neighbouring countries like Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan. 

Under the CAA, people from these communities who had come to India till December 31, 2014 due to religious persecution in the three countries will not be treated as illegal immigrants but given Indian citizenship.

The bill was passed by Parliament and got the President's assent on December 12, 2019.

The passage of the bill triggered protests in several parts of the country. In 2020, a violent clash between pro and anti-CAA groups led to communal riots in Northeast Delhi which left around 53 people dead and more than 200 injured.

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