Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019

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The Madurai Bench of Madras High Court recently observed that the principles of Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019, could be applied to the Hindu Tamils of Sri Lanka.

About Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019:

  • The Citizenship Amendment Act, 2019 amends the Citizenship Act, 1955.
  • It seeks to grant citizenship to a class of migrants belonging to Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, Parsi or Christian communities from Afghanistan, Bangladesh or Pakistan who entered India on or before December 31, 2014. 
  • It exempts the members of the six communities from any criminal case under the Foreigners Act, 1946 and the Passport Act, 1920. The two Acts specify punishment for entering the country illegally and staying here on expired visas and permits.
  • It was passed by Parliament on December 11, 2019 and the Act was notified within 24 hours on December 12.

Migrants or refugees from Sri Lanka:

  • The Joint Committee on Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016, in its report to the Lok Sabha on January 7, 2019, mentioned the reason provided by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) for not including Sri Lanka under the ambit of the amendment. 
  • According to the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), the guidelines of the Standard Operating Procedure issued by the Centre on December 29, 2011, would take care of the migrants or refugees from other countries, including Sri Lanka and Myanmar. 


Source : Hindustan Times