NEW DELHI, Sept 18 - In a step forward, the Joint Parliamentary Committee of Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha has sought public suggestions on the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016.
The Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016, as introduced in the Lok Sabha, has been referred to a Joint Parliamentary Committee of both the Houses, under the chairmanship of Dr Satyapal Singh (Baghpat), MP, for examination and presenting a report to the Parliament.
It has been decided to seek views and suggestions on the Bill from individuals, associations and bodies concerned. All those desirous of submitting their views and suggestions to the committee may send two copies of their written memoranda either in English or Hindi on the subject to the Additional Director, Lok Sabha Secretariat, Room No. 317 (OC), Third Floor, Parliament House Annexe, New Delhi-110001 or fax at 011-23016238 or email at [email protected] by September 30.
The memoranda submitted to the committee will form part of the records of the committee and will be treated as �confidential� and enjoy the privilege of the committee.
Those who wish to appear before the committee, besides submitting memoranda, have also been requested to specifically indicate so. However, the committee�s decision in this regard will be final, said a notification.
The Joint Committee comprises the following Lok Sabha members: Dr Satya Pal Singh, Ramen Deka, Prahlad Joshi, Kamakhya Prasad Tasa, Gopal Shetty, Dr Virendra Kumar, Ashwini Kumar Choubey, Dr Kirit P Solanki, Sunil Kumar Singh, Meenakshi Lekhi, Rajendra Agrawal, Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, Sushmita Dev, Dr P Venugopal, Prof Saugata Roy, Bhartruhari Mahtab, Ram Mohan Naidu Kinjarapu, Anandrao Adsul, B Vinod Kumar and Mohammad Salim.
Ten more members will be selected from the Rajya Sabha. The Government�s move came after several MPs belonging to the Opposition expressed their reservations over the manner in which the Bill has been sought to be passed.
Conceding to the Opposition demand, Home Minister Rajnath Singh, who moved the Bill, said he has no objection if the House agrees to refer the Bill to a Joint Parliamentary Select Committee.
The Bill introduced in the Lok Sabha by the Home Minister proposes to make minority communities such as Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis and Christians from Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan eligible for applying for Indian citizenship.
The Bill says that under the existing provisions of the Citizenship Act, persons belonging to a minority community, who have either entered India without travel documents or the validity of whose documents has expired, are regarded as illegal migrants and hence they are ineligible to apply for Indian citizenship.
The issue has triggered a controversy in Assam as granting citizenship to Hindu Bengalis was one of the poll promises made by the BJP. The BJP-led State Government recently sought clarifications on the Bill from the Centre, pointing out that the move has led to resentment among the people of Assam.