The Centre is mulling to make the entire process of granting citizenship under Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) online to bypass states.
As per reports, the Ministry of Home Affairs took the decision following stiff protests against the Act by some state governments.
A number of chief ministers, including those of West Bengal, Punjab, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh, had already announced that the law is ‘unconstitutional’ and has no place in their respective state.
However, Home ministry officials are of the view that no state government has the power to stop the implementation of CAA as the legislation was enacted under the Union List of the 7th Schedule of the Constitution.
“The states have no power to deny implementation of a central law which is in the Union List,” a Home Ministry official said.
The home ministry is thinking of scrapping the present procedure of routing applications for citizenship through the district magistrate and makes the entire process of granting citizenship under CAA online.
“We are thinking of designating a new authority instead of the district magistrate and make the entire process of application, examination of documents and granting Indian citizenship online,” the official added.
Meanwhile, protests against CAA are going on in several parts of the country and even the first day of the New Year did not stop people from coming out in the streets to oppose against the contentious Act.
It may be mentioned that the Citizenship Amendment Bill (CAB), 2019 was passed by the Indian Parliament last week and it became an Act after President Ram Nath Kovind gave his assent to the bill on December 12.
The new Act seeks to grant Indian citizenship to persons belonging to Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, Parsi and Christian communities who have migrated to India after facing persecution on grounds of religion in Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Bangladesh if they fulfil conditions for grant of citizenship.