News Brief

In A First For CAA, Home Ministry Grants Citizenship Certificates To 14 Individuals In Delhi

Swarajya Staff

May 15, 2024, 06:23 PM | Updated 06:31 PM IST

Home secretary giving citizenship certificate under CAA
Home secretary giving citizenship certificate under CAA

The Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA), implemented earlier this year, saw the Ministry of Home Affairs issue citizenship certificates to 14 individuals on Wednesday (15 May).

This act, initially passed by Parliament in 2019, had its rules officially notified by the BJP-led central government in March of this year.

In a ceremony held in New Delhi, Union Home Secretary Ajay Kumar Bhalla handed over the documents to some of the applicants.

Home Ministry stated, "The first set of citizenship certificates following the notification of Citizenship (Amendment) Rules, 2024, were issued today. Union Home Secretary Shri Ajay Kumar Bhalla handed over citizenship certificates to some applicants in New Delhi today."

Bhalla also congratulated the recipients and highlighted the key features of the new rules.

The CAA rules, notified on 11 March, just weeks before the Lok Sabha elections, empower district level committees (DLC) to accept applications from eligible individuals for Indian citizenship. These applications are then scrutinised by the state level empowered committee before citizenship is granted.

The ministry has reported receiving applications from members of Hindu, Sikh, Jain, Buddhist, Parsi, and Christian communities from Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Afghanistan, who faced religious persecution and entered India by 31 December 2014.

The DLCs, chaired by designated officers, have administered oaths of allegiance to the applicants after verifying their documents.

"After processing as per rules, DLCs have forwarded the applications to the State Level Empowered Committee headed by the Director (Census Operation). Processing of applications is completely done through the online portal. The Empowered Committee, Delhi, headed by the Director (Census Operation), Delhi, after due scrutiny, has decided to grant citizenship to 14 applicants," the central government stated.

Despite this, several Opposition leaders, including West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, have vowed not to implement the law in their states. Conversely, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Minister Amit Shah have assured that the law will be enforced nationwide.

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