PIL against Citizenship Bill will only be taken after RS clears it: SC

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court has kept the Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed against Citizenship Act (Amendment) Bill to provide Indian citizenship to non-Muslims pending and could only be taken up after the Rajya Sabha approved it.

“Bill is yet to be passed in Rajya Sabha,” Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi said.

The Citizenship Amendment Bill, 2019, was passed in the Lok Sabha on January 8.

The Bill, which was introduced by Home Minister Rajnath Singh, will facilitate citizenship of six identified minority communities namely Hindus, Sikhs, Jains, Buddhists, Christians and Parsis from Afghanistan, Pakistan and Bangladesh who came to India before 31 December 2014.

The proposed amendment in the Bill will make these persecuted migrants eligible to apply for citizenship. Under the proposed amendment, the minimum residency period for citizenship is being reduced from the existing 12 years under the present law to seven years. However, citizenship will be given to them only after due scrutiny and recommendation of district authorities and the state government.

The Bill will apply to all states and union territories of the country and the beneficiaries of the Citizenship Amendment Bill can reside in any state of the country.

Dispelling the misgivings about Citizenship Amendment Act, Singh clarified that the Act is not confined to Assam and will provide relief to persecuted migrants who have come through western borders of the country to States like Gujarat, Rajasthan, Delhi, Madhya Pradesh and other states.