The Home Ministry has sought an extension of three months to frame the rules of the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019, a contentious legislation that was passed by Parliament more than six months ago.
The Ministry informed a parliamentary committee on subordinate legislation about the delay, after the former wrote to it seeking the status of the CAA rules. Without rules being notified, the CAA cannot be implemented or come into force.
A senior government official confirmed that the Ministry has sought more time but did not specify the reasons for the delay.
The Hindu reported on July 20 that the Home Ministry had neither notified the CAA rules nor informed Parliament about the delay.
The CAA provides citizenship on the basis of religion to six undocumented non-Muslim communities from Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh who entered India on or before December 31, 2014.
It was passed by Parliament on December 11 last year and the President gave his assent on December 12. A month later, the Home Ministry issued a notification later that the provisions of the Act will come into force from January 10.
Around 70 people were killed in various incidents after the CAA was passed in December. The protests stopped in March after the country was placed under a lockdown in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
As per the Manual on Parliamentary Work, statutory rules, regulations and by-laws will be framed within a period of six months from the date on which the relevant statute came into force.
The manual states that 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.
Several northeast States were excluded from the provisions of the CAA after protests erupted there. Assam has demanded that the CAA should not be open-ended and the applicants be given only a three-month window to apply.