Citizenship Amendment Act comes into effect from January 10 (Photo Credit: File Image)
The Citizenship Amendment Act has finally came to into effect on Friday, the official notification from the Home Ministry said. In a gazette notification, the Union home ministry stated that the act under which non-Muslim refugees from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan will be given Indian citizenship, will come into force from January 10.
“In exercise of the powers conferred by sub-section (2) of the section 1 of the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019 (47 of 2019), the Central government hereby appoints the 10th day of January, 2020, as the date on which the provisions of the said Act shall come into force,” the notification said. The CAA was passed by parliament on December 11.
According to the CAA, members of Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, Parsi and Christian communities who have come from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan till December 31, 2014 facing religious persecution there will not be treated as illegal immigrants but given Indian citizenship.
There have been widespread protests against the act in different parts of the country. Those who are opposed to the legislation are saying that it is for the first time that India will grant citizenship on the basis of religion which violates the basic tenets of the country’s constitution.
However, the government and ruling BJP has been defending the act saying that the minority groups from the three countries have no other option but to come India when they face religious persecution there. The home ministry, however, is yet to frame the rules for the act.
A Delhi court on Friday granted bail to 12 people arrested in connection with the violence in Seemapuri area in northeast Delhi during anti-Citizenship (Amendment) Act protests and directed them to get their doubts regarding the amended law cleared by the police. Additional Sessions Judge Sanjeev Kumar Malhotra granted relief to the accused persons on a personal bond of Rs 20,000 each and one surety of like amount. He also asked them to not disturb public peace.
“Applicants shall not do any act which may disturb public peace. Applicants shall put their appearance on January 19 between 2 to 4 pm at Seemapuri Police Station, where the IO/SHO shall make endeavour to remove the doubts of the applicants in respect of CAA,” the court said.
The court observed that everyone had the right to hold peaceful protest in a democracy but damaging public property was not acceptable. “Right to protest is recognised as a fundamental right in a democracy but this right of peaceful protest and open criticism of government policies does not extend to disturbing the public order, i.e., public peace, safety and tranquillity,” the court said.
“The Constitution of India also prohibits a person from making any statement that incites people to commit an offence,” the court said. Those who were granted bail included Amjad Khan, Abdul Kalam, Rajaullah Khan, Nisar, Amiruddin, Suaib, Ahtmaad Ahmed, Waqar, Anis, Hazi Mehraj, Mohd Shoib and Mohd Amir.
Advocates Zakir Raja, Shahab Ahmad and Satya Prakash Gautam, appearing for some of the accused, told the judge that 10 out of 12 accused were in judicial custody since December 21 last year and some of them were not even present at the site of the protest. The advocates of Shoib and Amir, who were sent to judicial custody on January 5, claimed that the duo was arrested despite protesting peacefully.