The CAB amended the act to provide that Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis and Christians from Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan will not be treated as illegal immigrants.
In order to get this benefit, they must have also been exempted from the Foreigners Act, 1946 and the Passport (Entry into India) Act, 1920 by the Central Government.
The bill says that on acquiring Indian Citizenship,
i) such persons will be deemed to be the citizens of India from the date of their entry into India.
ii) all legal proceedings against them in respect to the migration or citizenship will be closed.
The bill adds that the provisions on citizenship for illegal immigrants will not apply to:
i) The tribal areas of Assam, Meghalaya, Mizoram or Tripura as included in the Sixth Schedule to the Constitution.
(This means the new citizens will not be settled in the tribal areas of these above-mentioned states.)
ii) The areas under the Inner Line under the Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulation, 1873. The Inner Line Permit regulates visit of Indians to Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoram and Nagaland.
iii) The ILP to be extended to Manipur as well.
iv) The bill further reduces the period of naturalization for such group of persons from 11 years to 5 years.
Grounds for cancelling OCI registration:
The Act provides that the central government may cancel registration of OCIs on the following 6 grounds:
1. Registration through fraudulent documents.
2. Showing disaffection to the Constitution of India.
3. Engaging with the enemy during war.
4. Necessity with the interest of sovereignty of India, security of state, public interest, or
5. If within 5 years of registration, the OCI has been sentenced to imprisonment for 2 years or more.
6. If the OCI has violated any law that is in force in the country.
Some typical statements in favour of CAB:
1. The Law is meant to CONFER, not Deprive anyone of Indian citizenship.
2. Indian Muslims are in no way affected by this amendment. They are and will continue to enjoy all the benefits as legitimate Indian Citizens.
3. The Bill deals with refugees who are foreign citizens.
THERE IS A FUNDAMENTAL DIFFERENCE BETWEEN PERSECUTED RELIGIOUS MINORITIES AND ETHNIC VIOLENCE.
1. The government has been sensitive to the needs of the Northeast people.
2. CAB has a specific provision which excludes autonomous tribal religions under the Sixth Schedule.
3. Also, States with an Inner Line Permit are excluded. This permit is required to the whole of Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, and Mizoram.
Dr. B.R. Ambedkar, the Chairman of the Drafting Committee of the Constitution of India had said in his speech in Constituent Assembly that “It is not the object of this particular Article to lay down a permanent law of citizenship for the country. The business of laying down permanent law of citizenship has been left to the Parliament.”
This statement clearly debunks the lies spread by a selective section of the society saying that this amendment is conflicting with the basic fundamental rights of Constitution of India.
Country based Classification, that is based on the following principles for the 3 states, can be questioned in the court by way of a judicial review:
1. Pakistan and Bangladesh have been a part of British India.
2. Afghanistan, Pakistan and Bangladesh have their own state religion.
3. Degrees of Harm.
4. The classification might be limited to singling out the persecuted religious minorities.
In the coming days, debates are sure to fire up with the CAB being challenged in the court of law almost certain.