The government listed the contentious Citizenship (Amendment) Bill (CAB) in the business list of the ongoing winter session of Parliament. The Parliament session began on December 18 and is scheduled to continue until December 13.
What is Citizenship (Amendment Bill), 2016?
Citizenship (Amendment) Bill (CAB) is amendment of the Citizenship Act, 1955 allow illegal migrants from Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan, who are Buddhist, Hindu, Jain, Sikh, Parsi or Christian eligible for Indian citizenship. In other words, the bill intends to make it easier for the non-Muslim migrants from India’s three Muslim-majority neighbours — Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan to become citizens of India.
The Citizenship Act, 1955 requires the applicant to have resided in India for 11 of the previous 14 years. The Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016 seeks to relax this requirement from 11 years to six years to obtain Indian Citizenship.
Why Citizenship (Amendment Bill), 2016 Now?
The Citizenship (Amendment Bill), 2016 was not tabled in Rajya Sabha and lapsed. Per Parliamentary Procedures “A Bill pending in Rajya Sabha which has not been passed by the Lok Sabha does not lapse on the dissolution of Lok Sabha but a Bill which is passed by the Lok Sabha and is pending in Rajya Sabha lapses on the dissolution of the Lok Sabha. (Provision regarding lapsing of Bills).
- February 13, 2019: Rajya Sabha adjourns sine die, without the bill being tabled; the bill lapsed with the end of the 16th Lok Sabha.
- January 8, 2019: Lok sabha passes the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill 2016.
- January 7, 2019: Joint Parliamentary Committee submits its report
- August 12, 2016: CAB 2016 was referred to a Joint Parliamentary Committee.
- July 19, 2016: Lok Sabha introduces the Citizenship amendment Bill; seeks to relax the number of continuous years of stay in India required to obtain citizenship by naturalisation from 11 to six years.