Top Court Seeks Centre, Assam Govt Response On Plea Challenging Citizenship Amendment Bill

The Top Court on Tuesday issued a notice to the Central Government and State Government of Assam on the petition challenging the Citizenship Amendment Bill that seeks to provide citizenship to non-muslim migrants from Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Afghanistan who came to India before December 31, 2014.

The Apex Court asked the Centre and State to file the reply within 4 Weeks from now. The Top Court’s direction came while the court was hearing the plea filed by Assam State Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind challenging the Union Home Ministry’s notification in the matter.

Lok Sabha on January 8 cleared the way for Citizenship Amendment Bill 2016 amidst massive outrage with Congress staging a walkout from the House. Congress asserted that the Bill has been opposed by many states and it should be sent to select committee.

The  Bill will amend the Citizenship Act, 1955, to grant Indian nationality to people belonging to non-muslim minority communities  — Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis and Christians — in Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan after six years of residence in India instead of 12, even if they don’t possess any proper document.

However, citizenship will be given to them only after due scrutiny and recommendation of district authorities and state government.

However, it lapsed in the upper House of the parliament on February 13 amidst protest by several Opposition parties.

READ: Govt fails to get Rajya Sabha nod: Triple Talaq Bill and Citizenship Bill lapse as House adjourns sine die

According to the Rajya Sabha Legislative Procedure, a Bill pending in the Upper House which has not been passed by Lok Sabha does not lapse on the dissolution of the Lower House. But a Bill passed by Lower House (Lok Sabha) and is pending at Rajya Sabha stands Lapsed on the dissolution of Lok Sabha.

The Controversial Citizenship Bill ever since passed in Lok Sabha in Winter Session have led to protests in the North-East States. Political parties and the civil society in Assam are protesting against the Bill, claiming it will change the region’s demography and violates the 1985 Accord.

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