Citizenship Amendment Bill 2019 which provides Indian citizenship to the non-Muslims of Afghanistan, Pakistan and Bangladesh and it is amending the Indian Citizenship Act of 1955. This bill was originally introduced in Lok Sabha on 19 December 2019 and passed in Lok Sabha, sent to Rajya Sabha and passed by Rajya Sabha on Wednesday. This Bill passed in Rajyasabha after a long 8 hour debate and 125 voted in the favour of Citizenship Amendment Bill and 99 voted against it.
What Citizenship Amendment Bill 2019 Says
Citizenship Amendment Bill says that it grants Indian citizenship to the Hindus, Sikhs, Christians, Buddhist, Jains and Parsis from the countries of Afghanistan, Pakistan and Bangladesh who arrived in India before December 31, 2014. It excludes Muslim community to grants Indian citizenship. Citizenship Amendment Bill reduced the duration of the immigrant’s residency to 5 years earlier it was 11 years.
What Article 14 says
Article 14 says about Equality before law and Equal Protection of Laws.
Article 14 states “The State shall not deny to any person equality before the law or the equal protection of the laws within the territory of India.”
Several opposition parties described Citizenship Amendment Bill as violation of Article 14 of Indian Constitution. But Amith Shah said that the bill does not violate Article 14 of the Constitution as it does not prohibit laws based on reasonable classification.
Several Opposition parties including Congress criticized the passage of Citizenship Amendment Bill and some Senior Congress Leaders indicates that the Congress Party may move to Supreme Court against Citizenship Amendment Bill. The Citizenship Amendment Bill 2019 is passed by loksabha and Rajya Sabha amid protests of Opposition parties and awaits Presidential assent.