Citizenship Amendment Bill (CAB) 2019

Introduction: In this article, we will discuss the Citizenship Amendment Bill (CAB) 2019. Also, we will have an insight into the purpose, legislative history and other important facts. It is also known as Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) 2019.

What is Citizenship Amendment Bill (CAB) 2019?


The Citizenship Amendment Bill (CAB) 2019 which amends the Citizenship Act of 1955 states that any illegal immigrants or refugees from Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Afghanistan who had entered India on or before 31 Dec 2014 and have faced religious persecution in their country of origin are eligible for Indian Citizenship.

The act also provides relaxation on the requirement of the minimum residence period in India. It has been brought down from 11 years to 5 years for these migrants.

The religious migrants mentioned in this bill, who will get benefit are Hindu, Sikh, Buddhists, Jain, Parsis, and Christians. The bill exempts the tribal areas of Assam, Meghalaya, Mizoram, and Tripura. It also exempts areas of Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland and Mizoram regulated through the Inner line permit.

Citizenship Amendment Bill (2016) – Legislative History

The Bill was initially introduced in Lok Sabha on 19 July 2016 as Citizenship Amendment Bill, 2016. It was passed by Lok Sabha on 8 Jan 2019. But it was lapsed due to the dissolution of the 16th Lok Sabha. Consequently, the bill was re-introduced in 17th Lok Sabha as Citizenship Amendment Bill (CAB) 2019 by Minister of Home Affairs Amit Shah on 09 Dec 2019.

The Bill was passed on 10 Dec 2019 in Lok Sabha by 311 MPs voting in favor and 80 against it. As a result, the bill was passed in Rajya Sabha on 11 Dec 2019 with 125 votes in favor and 105 against it. The bill assumed the status of an act on 12 Dec 2019 after receiving the assent of the President of India.

What is the Purpose of Citizenship Amendment Bill (CAB) 2019?

Illegal Migrants in India

The main purpose of the Citizenship Amendment Bill (CAB) 2019 is to change the Citizenship Act, 1955 so that illegal migrants or refugees can acquire Citizenship in India.

According to CAB Bill 2019, any illegal migrants or refugees who had entered India on or before 31 Dec 2014 by any means and if they are from Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Afghanistan, who had faced religious persecution in their country will no longer be called illegal migrants.

The bill listed migrants of the religion like Hindu, Sikh, Christians, Parsis, Buddhists, and Jains from Pakistan, Afganistan, and Bangladesh are eligible to acquire Indian citizenship.

The instance of illegal migrants or Refugees movement in India:-

  • From the 12th to the 20th century due to religious persecution in Iran, a large scale migration of Iran Parsis happened in India.
  • During the partition of India- Pakistan in 1947, more than one crore migrated to India.
  • Bangladesh’s freedom movement took place from 1960-1971, at that time a lot of Bangladeshi migrated to India.
  • From 1959 to 1960 during the Tibet-China war, thousands of Tibetans migrated to India.
  • During the Soviet-Afghan war since 1979, due to religious persecution, thousands of Afghans migrated to India.
  • From 1980 to 2000 due to Srilankan Civil war, thousands of Tamilians migrated to India.
  • Myanmar Rohingyas moved to India from 2015-2017.

External source for article on CAB Bill 2019.


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