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What is the full form of CAA

CAA: Citizenship Amendment Act

CAA stands for Citizenship Amendment Act. It was enacted by the govt. f India on 12 December 2019. It was passed by the Lok Sabha on 9th December 2019 and signed by the president of India on 12 December 2019, and thus it became an act.

CAA Full Form

The bill is intended to redefine the definition of illegal migrants. This act amends the Indian citizenship act 1955 to grant Indian citizenship to illegal migrants or refugees of six communities, Jain, Hindu, Jain, Parsi, Christian, and Buddhist, from three countries namely, Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Afghanistan. This bill is for the migrants that entered India before 31 December 2014 and, as of now living in India without documentation. So, the cut-off date for the Indian Citizenship act is 31 December 2014.

Besides this, this act is for the minorities that are forced to compel to take shelter in India due to their exploitation in their native countries on the ground of their religion or religious persecution. These migrants, after having Indian citizenship, can live anywhere in the country and have all the rights that an Indian citizen is entitled to have.

This bill does not include Muslims from these countries as they are not minorities in these countries. Besides this, Sri Lankan Tamils in India, Rohingyas from Myanmar, and Tibetan refugees are also not included in this bill.


The idea of citizenship describes the relationship between the nation and the people who comprise it.

In exchange for performing specific tasks or obligations owed to the state, it grants a certain individual certain rights, such as the ability to vote, the right to hold certain public posts, and others.

Indian citizenship:

  • Single citizenship for the entire nation is established under the Indian Constitution. The Indian Parliament has the authority to enact legislation affecting citizenship rights under Article 11 of the Constitution.
  • As a result, the Parliament adopted the Citizenship Act of 1955, which outlines the processes for acquiring and deciding Indian citizenship.
  • The Seventh Schedule's Entry 17, List 1 discusses citizenship, naturalisation, and aliens. As a result, Parliament alone has the authority to pass laws pertaining to citizenship.
  • Before 1987, a person only needed to be born in India to qualify for Indian citizenship.
  • After then, the legislation governing citizenship was first modified to add an additional condition that a minimum of one parent be an Indian in response to populist movements alleging extensive illegal migration from Bangladesh.
  • In addition, the law was altered in 2004 to provide that not only the one parent must be an Indian, but also neither the other parent nor the child may be the child of an illegal immigrant.

Who in India is an illegitimate immigrant?

According to the Act, a foreign individual who:

  • Entering the country without legitimate travel documentation, such as a passport and visa, is in violation of the Act.
  • Enters into the nation with legitimate documents but a stay that exceeds the allowed time frame.
  • The Passport (Entry into India) Act of 1920 and the Foreigners Act of 1946 both permit the detention or expulsion of unauthorised immigrants.

The situation before the Act was passed:

  • An illegal immigrant is not permitted to petition for citizenship under the current legislation. They cannot register or naturalise in order to become citizens of India.
  • The Foreigners Act and the Passport Act, which also provide for the detention or expulsion of unauthorised immigrants, forbid such people.
  • One can become an Indian citizen by registration.
  • A person of Indian heritage must normally have stayed in India for seven years before seeking registration, and they must have lived there continuously for one year before applying for citizenship, according to Section 5(a) of the Citizenship Act of 1955.
  • A prerequisite for getting citizenship through naturalisation under the Citizenship Act of 1955 is that the person should have lived in India for 11 out of the preceding 14 years.

Key features of CAA:

1. As per the Citizenship Act 1955, an OCI card can be given to a person if he or she fulfils one of the following conditions:

  • He or she is of Indian origin (former Indian Citizen or descendants of any former Indian citizen).
  • He or she is a spouse of a person of Indian origin.

Now, as per the CAA 2019 such OCI cardholders will be allowed to work, study and travel in India.

2. As per the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill 2016, the OCI cardholder's citizenship can be cancelled due to the following reasons

  • Shows dissatisfaction with the Indian Constitution
  • Fraud during registration
  • Helping the enemy during war
  • Threat to the sovereignty of India
  • Imprisoned for two or more years during the first five years of registration as OCI

Now as per the CAA 2019, one more reason for the cancellation of citizenship has been added which is a violation of any law that is in force in the country

3. On getting citizenship through CAA 2019, a person will become an Indian Citizen from the date of their entry which can be on or before 31 December 2014

4. As per the Citizenship Amendment Bill (CAB), 1955, to acquire Indian citizenship a person must have to stay in India for a minimum duration of 11 years. As per the Citizenship Amendment Act, this duration was reduced to 6 years. However, as per CAA, 2019, this duration is reduced to 5 years.

5. This act not only grants citizenship but also intends to close all cases against illegal migrants due to their illegal migration or citizenship.

Why was the CAA (Citizenship Amendment Act) opposed?

Besides this, the CAA was also opposed by some groups in India as it does not grant citizenship to illegal Muslim migrants from the above-mentioned 3 countries. Thus, it has also been linked with the violation of provisions of article 14 of the constitution of India that restricts discrimination among people based on caste, religion, place, sex, etc.

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