Opposition parties along with librel brigade supported by so called intellectuals in the country have raised hue and cry against the Act of parliament I.e passing of citizenship Amend ment Act by saying that Act is discriminatory and violative of Article 14 of the constitution of India which enunciates right to equality before law and equal protection all laws.The congress and left parties have created a sort of scare especially among Muslims that by this act of parliament they will be thrown out of country. Thus pseudo propaganda of the opposition has resulted into breakout of proteststs in the country. Before going into merits of the Act, let us evaluate and explain what is meaning of citizenship and and under what Articles of the constitution of India it falls and what citizenship Act of 1955 incorporates.
Articles from 5 to 11deal with citizenship of India
Art. 5 of of Indian constitution defines as such :-At the commencement of this constitution, every person who has his domicile in the territory of India and –
(a) who was born in the territory of India, or
(b) either of whose parents was born in the territory of India,or
(c) who has been ordinarily resident in the territory of India for not less than five years immediately preceding such commencement shall be a citizen of India The citizenship Act of 1955 comprehensively deals with Acquisition and Termination of citizenship of India.
Before going into different modes of Acquisition we must understand, what do we mean by citizen ,
Citizen,in relation to a country means a person who under the citizenship or nationality law for the time being in force in the country, is a citizen or national of that country as specified in the first schedule.
Following are the modes of Acquisition of citizenship :-
Citizenship by birth :-(1)except as provided in sub section (2)every person born in India :-
(a) on or after the 26th day of January, 1950but before the commencement of the citizenship (Amendment)Act,1986:
(b) on or after such commencement and either or whose parents is a citizen of India at the time of his birth and also some restrictions were incorporated in other ensuing sections.
Sec. 4 citizenship by descent :-A person born out of India :-
(a) on or after the 26th January 1950 but before the commencement of the citizenship (Amendment) 1992,
Shall be a citizen of India if his father is a citizen of India at the time of his birth.
(b) on or after such commencement, shall be a citizen of India by descent if either of his parents is a citizen of India at the time of his birth provided that father registers his childs name in the consulate with in one year of its commencement I.e commencement of Act. Other clauses also inserted under this mode to ensure fair play.
Sec. 5 citizenship by registration :-
Subject to the provisions of this section and such conditions and restrictions as may be prescribed, the prescribed Authority may, on application made in this behalf, register as a citizen of India any person who is not already such citizen by virtue of the constitution or by virtue of other provisions of this Act. And in other clauses categories such persons are defined.
Sec. 6 citizenship by Naturalisation :-in this mode foreign nationals are admitted to Indian citizenship. It incorporates men of eminence in science, social work, music, Art etc. Provided they leave the citizenship of their original country. Certain other restrictions are also imposed under this mode.
Sec. 7 citizenship by incorporation of territory :- if any territory becomes part of India, the central Govt. may by order notified in the official Gazette, specify the persons who shall be citizens of India.
Termination of citizenship :-
The three modes of termination are as under :-
Sec. 8 Renunciation of citizenship:-if citizen of India who is citizen or national of another country makes declaration renouncing Indian citizenship, the person shall cease to be a Indian citizen.
Sec. 9 Termination of citizenship :-any citizen of India who by naturalisation, registration or otherwise acquires citizenship of another country shall upon such acquisition cease to be citizen of India.
Sec. 10 Deprivation of citizenship :-A citizen of India who obtained the registration or naturalisation by means of fraud, false representation or the concealment of any material fact and some other restrictions which incorporated in various clauses under this mode,the person shall be deprived of the Indian citizenship.
However the citizenship Act of 1955 has been amended from time to time i.e 1986,1992,2003,2005and finally on 12th of December 2019 keeping in view Socio-religious and political milieu in and around our country.
Citizen Amendment Act 2019 has amended sec. 2 in sub sec (1) clause (b) by inserting the following proviso:-
Provided that any person belonging to Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, Parsi or Christan community from Afghanistan, Bangladesh or Pakistan who entered into India on or before the 31st day of December 2014 and who has been exempted by the Central govt.by or under clause (c) of sub -sec.(2)of sec. 3of the passport Act 1920 or from the application of the provisions of the foreigners Act 1946 or any rule or order made thereunder, shall not be treated as illegal migrants for the purpose of this Act.
By virtue this Amendment in the citizenship Act of 1955 Govt. Of India has given respite to all those who have been victim of religious and social persecution in the above mentioned countries. Expansion of emigration laws is a prerogative of the parliament said the eminent lawyer and jurist Sh Harish salve and there is no violation of Art.14of the constitution as political parties are exploiting the countrymen especially Muslims by misleading them through the Bogey of NRC and NPR which are not in existence at all.
The act of the parliament for reducing time period of stay in India from 11years to 5years for citizenship for the above cited religious denominations has given new lease of life to them. The Citizenship Amendment Act was need of the hour.All the parliamentarians and the present Govt. deserves deepest appreciation for showing such guts and preventing human catestrophy. The opposition parties in India want to create unrest in India by scaring the people to grab power by hook or crook as they can not tolerate the rise of India in the comity of Nations Let us all rise to the occasion and thwart the sinister designs of enemy both within and without.
(The author is President people forum Poonch.)