The bill was cleared by the Lok Sabha on Monday after a marathon discussion and division. In all, 311 members voted in favour of the bill and 80 members opposed it.

Replying to the discussion in Lok Sabha before the passage of the bill, Home Minister Amit Shah said, the bill does not violate any provisions of the Constitution including Article 14. Mr Shah reiterated that religious persecutions in Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan, who have expressly declared Islam as their State Religion, necessitated the bill.

He pointed out the declining minority population in the three neighbouring countries. He said the bill is not discriminatory against Muslims. The Bill, among other things, seeks to grant citizenship to Hindus, Sikhs, Jains, Parsis, Buddhists and Christians who migrated to India till the end of 2014 from countries like Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan, due to reasons like persecutions.

However, the bill exempts certain tribal areas included in the Sixth Schedule and those falling under the Inner Line Permit Regime in the North Eastern States. It amends the Citizenship Act 1955, the Passport Act 1920 and the Foreigners Act 1946 for implementation of its provisions.

SOURCE – DD NEWS

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