Citizenship Act 1955 Current Affairs - 2020

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UNHRC files in Supreme Court on Citizenship Amendment Act

On March 3, 2020, the United Nation Human Rights Commission moved to Supreme Court on the matter of Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA). The commission has filed a case challenging CAA.

India on the Move of UNHRC

India believes that the CAA is an internal matter of the country. Also, according to India, CAA is constitutionally valid.

What is the issue?

The Citizenship Amendment Act was passed in 2019. The act amends Citizenship Act 1955. It seeks to give nationality only to 6 religious communities (Hindus, Christians, Jains, Buddhists, Parsis and Sikhs) if they entered India before 31 December 2014. It does not include Muslims. Also, the act does not include other refugees such as Rohingya from Myanmar and Tamils from Sri Lanka.

Significance of the act

According to GoI, the partition of India failed to protect the minorities in Pakistan and Bangladesh. India and Pakistan were partitioned under Nehru-Liaqat pact in 1950. Pakistan announced itself as a Muslim nation while India became secular. Even after independence, India has constantly conceded that minorities in Pakistan are its responsibilities.

The act was passed to protect them according to GoI.

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Bengal becomes the fourth state to pass resolution against CAA

The Citizenship (Amendment) Act was legislated by the Parliament during this winter session. However, several states are agitating over the non-inclusion of Muslims in the law. Kerala was the first state to pass a resolution against the act. Recently, the state of West Bengal has passed similar resolution.

Highlights

After Kerala, Punjab and Rajasthan, West Bengal passed a resolution against CAA. According to West Bengal, the act does not stick to secularism. Also, the state claims that NPR, CAA and NRC are co-related.

NPR

NPR is National Population Register that holds the names of the residents of India. The register is prepared and updated based on the Citizenship Act 1955 and Citizenship (Registration of Citizens and Issue of National Identity Card) rules, 2003. The NPR was updated in 2010 and the details were collected along with the Census of India, 2011.

The register holds biometric and demographic details of the residents.

Legislation

Section 14A of the Citizenship Act says that the Central Government has to register every citizen compulsorily and issue an identity card to him. Also, the Government shall maintain a register of Indian Citizens. In order to achieve this, it shall establish a National Registration Authority.

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