Minorities must prove the aggregate period of residence in India to be eligible for citizenship

NEW DELHI: The rules of the Citizens Amendment Act, currently drafted by the home ministry in consultation with the law ministry, will require that immigrants belonging to six minority religions in Pakistan , Afghanistan and Bangladesh to provide proof of their arrival in India before December 31, 2014. They would also have to prove that their aggregate period of residence in India is not less than five years during the period of 14 years immediately preceding 12 months. following to apply for citizenship.

The rules may stipulate the presentation of an affidavit by the immigrant applying for citizenship under the Citizenship Amendment Act of 2019, stating that he was forced to seek refuge in India due to religious persecution or fear of religious persecution in his native country. In the event that said immigrant does not have valid documents such as passport or other travel documents at the time of entering India, a declaration can also be made in an affidavit.

Even the long-term visa policy for immigrants belonging to Hindus, Sikhs, Christians, Jains, Buddhists and Sikh communities from Pakistan /Bangladesh and Afghanistan , requires them to file an affidavit on a non-judicial stamp paper, declaring that he/she belongs to the aforesaid minority faiths in the three countries, that he/she was compelled to seek shelter in India due to religious persecution/fear of religious persecution, his/her date and place of entry into India and whether or not he/she had valid documents at the time of entry.

While it is said that the government gave suggestions to the Center on the proposed rules, an Interior Ministry official said no suggestions from the states had been invited. Source said that while a consultation with the states generally precedes the enactment of legislation, once Parliament passes the Law to establish standards, it is not mandatory for the Center to conduct a new consultation with the states.

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