Citizenship Amendment Act doesn't apply to Indian citizens, they are completely unaffected by it: MHA

Citizenship Amendment Act does not amend any existing legal provision which enables any foreigner to apply for Indian citizenship through registration/naturalisation. The CAA does not apply to Indian citizens. They are completely unaffected by it, MHA said.

Citizenship Amendment Act doesn't apply to Indian citizens, they are completely unaffected by it: MHA
Image Courtesy: IANS

New Delhi: Amid protests against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019, in various parts of the country, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) spokesperson has clarified that the Act does not apply to Indian citizens and they are completely unaffected by it.

Taking to Twitter on Wednesday, MHA spokesperson explained the provisions pertaining to citizenship in India and some concerns regarding the Act. 

"Citizenship of India can be acquired by birth, descent, registration, naturalisation or incorporation of territory. Any foreigner on becoming eligible can acquire citizenship by registration or by naturalisation irrespective of his country or community. #CAA2019 enables foreigners of six minority communities from three countries to apply for citizenship on the basis of religious persecution," the spokesperson stated.

"It does not amend any existing legal provision which enables any foreigner to apply for Indian citizenship through registration/naturalisation. The CAA does not apply to Indian citizens. They are completely unaffected by it," it further noted.

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The spokesperson further informed that in the last six years, 2830 Pakistani, 912 Afghani and 172 Bangladeshi citizens have been given Indian citizenship.

"Many of them are from the majority community of these countries. Such migrants of the majority community of neighbouring countries shall continue to get Indian citizenship if they fulfil the eligibility conditions already provided in the law for registration or naturalisation," the Ministry official stated.

"On different occasions, special provisions have been made by Government in the past to accommodate the citizenship of foreigners who had to flee to India. Eg 4.61 lakh Tamils of Indian origin were given Indian citizenship during 1964-2008. The CAA does not target any religious community from abroad. It only provides a mechanism for some migrants who may otherwise have been called 'illegal' depriving them of opportunity to apply for Indian citizenship provided they meet certain conditions," spokesperson added.

The Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019, protects the interests of the tribals and indigenous people of North East by excluding areas under 6th Schedule and areas covered by Inner Line Permit. Therefore, there is no question of any influx of foreigners swamping the indigenous population, the spokesperson stated.