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Muslim League moves to SC against Modi govt’s order for citizenship to persecuted minorities in 13 districts, calls it ‘back-door CAA’

The notification said that the application for registration as a citizen of India through naturalisation under the said rules (Citizenship Rules, 2009) would be made by the applicant online. The naturalisation will not be under the recently passed CAA but under existing rules.

The Indian Union Muslim League (IUML), the Congress party’s ally in Kerala, has moved the Supreme Court challenging the decision of the Modi government to grant citizenship to persecuted minority refugees from Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Bangladesh.

According to the reports, the Islamic political outfit IUML has filed a petition in the Supreme Court seeking a stay on the recent notification issued by the centre that had invited applications from persecuted Hindus, Sikhs, Jains, Parsis, Jains, and Buddhists belonging to Afghanistan, Bangladesh, and Pakistan.

In its petition, IUML termed the order an attempt by the Centre to implement its “mala fide designs envisaged under CAA.” The petition further claimed that if the applicants are granted citizenship and the Supreme Court strikes down the CAA, it would be a “herculean task” and “near-impossible” to take back the citizenships given.

The IUML has reportedly called the decision ‘back-door’ CAA. It is despite the fact that refugees in India are naturalised under existing laws and they become eligible to apply for Indian citizenship after fulfilling the requirements. District magistrates will have the power to grant Indian citizenship to eligible applicants.

“Therefore since the Amendment Act is pending adjudication before this court, it would be in the interest of justice, that the operation of the Amendment Act, including such procedures under the Amendment Act for granting citizenship to illegal migrants be stayed until the matter, is decided by the court, the petition noted.

It is worth mentioning that Indian Union Muslim League (IUML), which claims to be born after the Indian Independence in 1948, is an off-shoot of Pakistan founder and Islamist Mohammad Ali Jinnah’s All India Muslim League (AIML). The All India Muslim League was succeeded by the Muslim League in Pakistan and the Indian Union Muslim League in India. 

The Muslim League had strongly advocated for the establishment of a separate Muslim-majority nation-state named Pakistan that had eventually led to the partition of British India in 1947 by the British Empire. The birth of Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) in December 1947 was a part of that intention to keep these spirit of the All India Muslim League.

In Kerala, IUML is an alliance partner with the Congress party and has been part of its United Democratic Front (UDF) for decades now. In the run-up to the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, Rahul Gandhi had enlisted the support of IUML to secure his victory in the Muslim-majority Wayanad Lok Sabha seat.

Modi govt to grant citizenship to six persecuted minorities from three countries

On May 28, in a significant decision, the Modi government invited applications from persecuted minority refugees – Hindus, Sikhs, Jains, Parsis, Christians, and Buddhists who had come from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, and Pakistan for granting of Indian citizenship. The said refugees are currently living in 13 districts of Gujarat, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, Haryana, and Punjab and the citizenship grant will be under existing rules of the Citizenship Act.

In the notification, the Union Home Ministry had asked people belonging to six persecuted communities to apply for a certificate of naturalization under the Citizenship Act 1955 and the citizenship rules framed under the law in 2009.

Only those people who are currently living in the districts of Morbi, Rajkot, Patan, and Vadodara districts of Gujarat, Durg, and Balodabazar districts in Chhattisgarh, Jalore, Udaipur, Pali, Barmer, and Sirohi districts in Rajasthan, Faridabad in Haryana and Jalandhar in Punjab, are eligible to apply for Indian citizenship.

The notification said that the application for registration as a citizen of India through naturalisation under the said rules (Citizenship Rules, 2009) would be made by the applicant online. Under naturalisation rules, a person can acquire citizenship by naturalisation if he/she is ordinarily resident of India for 12 years and fulfils all qualifications in the third schedule of the Citizenship Act.

Citizenship to these persecuted minorities will be granted under naturalization rules and not under the recently passed Citizenship Amendment Act, 2019. Even though the centre passed the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) in 2019 to grant citizenship to these persecuted non-Muslim minorities belonging to three neighbouring Islamic countries, the centre is yet to frame the rules. The fresh order is in no way connected to the Citizenship Amendment Act enacted in 2019.

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