New Delhi: The Citizenship (Amendment) Bill 2019 has finally passed the final stage of its journey of becoming an Act after President Ram Nath Kovind's assent.
The President nod came amid intense outrage in the nation against the Bill. While the Bill finally became a law, the states of Assam and Tripura have been covered with army all over. Curfew has also been extended indefinitely in some parts of the states and a large army has been deployed to disperse the protestors.
It is to be mentioned that CAB 2019 was passed by both the Houses of Parliament with a clear majority thus, triggering protests by many who stated that the bill was unconstitutional and a big threat to the secularism of the nation. Home Minister Amit Shah, however, had given his assurance in the Parliament that the Bill never was against anyone in the country.
The Act, stated anti-muslim by the opposition, aims at providing Indian Citizenship to those who had been forced to seek shelter in India because of religious persecution in their own countries. The ACT will primarily give Indian Citizenship to non-muslim minorities of the country who have been living in the country. The Act is a drastic shift from the provisions of the Citizenship Act of 1955 that labels a person an 'illegal immigrant' if entered in India without travel documents or has stayed over than the date specified in the documents.
The CAB 2019 amends the 1955 Act to grant exemptions to illegal migrants from the communities who reached India on or before 2014.
The act amendments will not be applicable to the tribal areas of Assam, Meghalaya, Mizoram or Tripura. These areas, as described in the Sixth Schedule to the Constitution as areas covered under The Inner Line, notified under the Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulation, 1873.