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CAA, 3 criminal laws to be notified 'much before' Lok Sabha poll announcement: Sources

The Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) had triggered massive protests by some Muslim groups against the Modi government in 2019-20. The passage of new criminal laws in the Parliament drew criticism as they got approval from both Houses in the absence of opposition MPs who were suspended.

Reported By : Devendra Parashar Edited By : Raju Kumar
New Delhi
Updated on: January 02, 2024 19:32 IST
Home Minister Amit Shah
Image Source : PTI/FILE Home Minister Amit Shah

Rules for the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) of 2019 and the three new criminal laws 2023 will be notified "much before" the announcement of the Lok Sabha elections, a senior government functionary said on Tuesday.

What is CAA law?

Under the CAA, Indian nationality will be granted to persecuted non-Muslim migrants -- Hindus, Sikhs, Jains, Buddhists, Parsis and Christians -- from Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan who had come to India till December 31, 2014.

There were massive protests in some parts of the country after the CAA was passed by Parliament in December 2019 and received presidential assent subsequently. More than a hundred people reportedly lost their lives during the protests or police action after Parliament passed the law.

"We are going to issue the rules for the CAA soon. Once the rules are issued, the law can be implemented and those eligible can be granted Indian citizenship," the functionary said.

Delayed by more than four years, rules for the CAA are a must for its implementation. Asked whether the rules will be notified before the announcement of the next Lok Sabha elections that are likely to be held in April-May, the functionary said, "Yes, much before that."

"The rules are ready and the online portal is also in place and the entire process will be online. The applicants will have to declare the year when they entered India without travel documents. No document will be sought from the applicants," the functionary said.

On December 27, Union Home Minister Amit Shah had said that no one can stop the implementation of the CAA as it is the law of the land and accused West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee of misleading people on the issue.

Since 2020, the Home Ministry has been taking extensions in regular intervals from the parliamentary committees for framing the rules.

What are three new criminal laws?

The three bills - the Bharatiya Nyaya (Second) Sanhita, Bharatiya Nagarik Suraksha (Second) Sanhita, and the Bharatiya Sakshya (Second) Bills - which replaced the colonial-era criminal laws, was passed in the Parliament on December 21. The laws make punishments more stringent for terrorism, lynching, and offences endangering national security. The laws say forensics will be made compulsory in offences with a punishment of seven years or more.

Aiming to end "tareekh-pe-tareekh" system: Shah

Union Home Minister Amit Shah said the new laws will not only make India's criminal justice system the world's best but also put an end to the "tareekh-pe-tareekh" system.

These laws, once implemented, will ensure the end of the "tareekh-pe-tareekh" era and justice will be delivered within three years, Shah said during a debate on the bills in the Upper House of Parliament.

The bills that repeal and replace the Indian Penal Code, Code of Criminal Procedure, and the Indian Evidence Act will usher in a new era in the criminal justice system, he added.

Highlighting the bills' key features, Shah said terrorism has been defined for the first time and made a punishable offence. "Those who ask what will happen after these laws, I want to say that they did not have the definition of terrorism even after ruling for several decades. The Narendra Modi government has shown zero tolerance towards terrorism and has given its definition in these laws," Shah said. 

Also read: Ram Temple consecration: Will Akhilesh Yadav attend ceremony in Ayodhya? Watch SP chief's reply

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