Parl. panel won’t submit report on Citizenship Amendment Bill in Monsoon Session
New Delhi, July 29 (PTI): A joint parliamentary committee, which is examining a controversial bill seeking to amend the six-decade-old Citizenship Act, will not submit its report during the ongoing Monsoon Session of Parliament.
It will table it in the Winter Session to be held in November-December, sources privy to the development said.
They said a motion seeking permission to submit the report of the committee on the first day of the last week of the Winter Session is expected to be moved in the Lok Sabha this week.
The multi-party committee, headed by BJP MP from Meerut Rajendra Agrawal, will seek the permission of the House as it wants to conduct more “study visits”, interact with civil society members and individuals in view of the larger interests involved in the proposed amendments in the Bill, they said.
The Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016, was introduced in the Lok Sabha to amend the Citizenship Act, 1955.
Among others, the amendment bill seeks to grant citizenship to people from minority communities — Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis and Christians — from Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan after six years of residence in India instead of 12 even if they do not possess any proper document.
A large section of people and organisations in the northeast have opposed the bill, saying it will nullify the provisions of the Assam Accord of 1985, which fixed March 24, 1971, as the cut off date for deportation of all illegal immigrants irrespective of their religion.
The Meghalaya and Mizoram governments have strongly opposed the Citizenship Amendment Bill and adopted resolutions against it.
The Joint Committee on the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016, was constituted on August 23, 2016, to examine The Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016.
It was to report to the House by the last day of the first week of the 2016 Winter Session as per the motion adopted in the Lok Sabha on August 11 and concurred by the Rajya Sabha on August 12 of the same year.
The committee obtained extension of its tenure five times, the latest being the first day of the last week of the 2018 Monsoon session, for presentation of the report.
During the course of its examination and study visits, the committee met a cross section of people in Gujarat, Rajasthan, Assam and Meghalaya and heard views of organisations, individuals, experts and others.
The committee also heard the views of the chief secretaries and directors general of police of Assam, Bihar, Gujarat, Jharkhand, Maharashtra and West Bengal.