CAA Rules are still underway, Says MHA

A year after the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019 (CAA) was passed by the Lok Sabha, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has said that the rules governing the Act are still “under preparation”. Without the rules being notified, the Act remains ineffective.

This is the first official response from the MHA on the rules of the contentious Act that saw vociferous protests and riots from December 2019 till early March this year. As many as 83 persons were killed in various incidents in Assam, Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka, Meghalaya and Delhi.

The MHA’s response came in reply to a question filed by The Hindu under the Right to Information Act (RTI) seeking information on the status of the framing the rules of the CAA.

B.C. Joshi, Director (Citizenship), Foreigners Division, said in the RTI reply that “it is to inform that the rules under the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019 are under preparation”.

The RTI reply also added that “this office has not sent any letter regarding CAA to the Parliamentary Committee on Subordinate Legislation in the month of August, 2020. You are requested to provide specific details of the sought information so that this office can locate/identify the same”.

As per the Manual on Parliamentary Work, in case the Ministries/Departments are not able to frame the rules within the prescribed period of six months, “they should seek extension of time from the Committee on Subordinate Legislation stating reasons for such extension” which cannot be more than for a period of three months at a time.

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