First set of citizenship certificates handed over to 14 persons under CAA

08:48PM Wed 15 May, 2024

Two months after the notification of Citizenship (Amendment) Rules, 2024, the Centre on Wednesday handed over the first set of citizenship certificates to 14 persons who escaped from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan to India due to persecution.

The handing over of citizenships comes in the middle of Lok Sabha elections, with four phases of polling over and the next three to happen till June 1 and results would be announced on June 4.

The Empowered Committee of Delhi, headed by Director (Census Operation) of Delhi, after due scrutiny, decided to grant citizenship to 14 applicants, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) said in a statement. The District Level Committee (DLC), chaired by Senior Superintendent of Post or Superintendent of Post as the designated officer, on successful verification of documents, administered the oath of allegiance to the applicants, the MHA informed.

Though the Citizenship (Amendment) Act was passed by parliament in 2019, it was not implemented in the absence of notification of its rules.

Union Home Secretary Ajay Kumar Bhalla handed over citizenship certificates to some applicants and highlighted salient features of the Citizenship (Amendment) Rules, 2024, which were notified on March 11, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) said. Secretary Posts, Director (IB), Registrar General of India and senior officers were also present during the interactive session.

The Citizenship (Amendment) Rules envisage the manner of application form, procedure for processing by District Level Committee (DLC) and scrutiny and grant of citizenship by State Level Empowered Committee (EC). In pursuance of these rules, applications have been received from persons belonging to Hindu, Sikh, Jain, Buddhist, Parsi and Christian communities from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan who entered into India up to December 31, 2014, on account of persecution on grounds of religion or fear of such persecution, the MHA stated.

Explaining the procedure, the Ministry said, after processing as per rules, DLCs forward the applications to the State Level Empowered Committee headed by Director (Census operation). The processing of applications is completely done through the online portal.