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The Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016 which was passed by 16th Lok Sabha has been lapsed, said Minister of State for Home Nityananda Rai on Tuesday.

“The Citizenship Amendment Bill 2016 was introduced in Lok Sabha in 2016. It was referred to a Joint Parliamentary Committee. The Committee submitted its report in January to Parliament.

“The Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2019 was taken into consideration and passed by Lok Sabha on January 8. It was pending for consideration and passing by the Rajya Sabha. Consequent to dissolution of 16th Lok Sabha, this Bill has lapsed,” Rai told in the Lok Sabha.

He said that the basic object of the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2019 was to facilitate grant of Indian citizenship to members of six minority communities who migrated from Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh without valid travel documents or the validity of whose documents had expired.

The Citizenship Act, 1955 treats such persons as ‘illegal migrants’ and disentitles them from applying for Indian citizenship.

The Gazette Notification of October 24, 2018, on the other hand, was issued by the Central Government under section 16 of the Citizenship Act, 1955 to facilitate expeditious grant of Indian citizenship only to the legal migrants from the above mentioned six minority communities from Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan if they fulfill the eligibility criteria.

This notification does not amend the provisions of The Citizenship Act, 1955 or the rules made there under.

The notification of October 24, 2018 and the lapsed Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016 thus deal with different categories of immigrants from the six minority communities of Afghanistan, Bangladesh & Pakistan, the minister said.

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