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By Dharani | Dec 10, 2019 02:42 AM

The Lok Sabha, in the early hours of Tuesday, passed the contentious Citizenship (Amendment) Bill with a majority of 311 votes versus 80 votes.

Controversial Citizenship (Amendment) Bill 2019 Explained in 7 Points

What the Bill is all about?

1- The bill was one of the major election promises by the Bharatiya Janata Party in the 2014 and 2019 Lok Sabha elections.

2 - The bill seeks to amend the Citizenship Act of 1955 to provide Indian nationality to refugees belonging to Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Christian and Parsi communities from Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh.

3 - The Citizenship Act of 1955 states that any person who wants citizenship must have lived in the country for 12 months prior to their application and for 11 of the last 14 years. The present Bill reduces the time period to six years for non-Muslims.

4 - If the bill gets a nod in Rajya Sabha and becomes a law, people from these communities will no longer be jailed or deported under the Foreigners Act of 1966 and the Passport (Entry into India) Act of 1920.

5 - The bill will not apply to areas under the sixth schedule of the Constitution - Assam, Meghalaya, Tripura and Mizoram. The bill will also not apply to states that have inner-line permit regime - Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland and Mizoram.

6 - Any person applying for citizenship should have entered India on or before December 31, 2014, to be eligible.

7 - The bill also seeks to incorporate a sub-section (d) to Section 7, providing for cancellation of Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) registration in cases of violation of any provision of the Citizenship Act or any other law in force.

Claiming that the bill is discriminatory towards Muslims, almost all the opposition parties say 'use of religion as a criterion for citizenship' is 'unconstitutional' and 'undemocratic' as it attacks the secular nature of the country.

Isn't the Bill same like NRC?

Unlike CAB, NRC is not based on religion. The National Register of Citizens that is being implemented in Assam targets illegal immigrants. A person has to prove that either they, or their ancestors were in Assam on or before March 24, 1971 to avoid getting deported.

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