The Union Cabinet has cleared the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill or CAB that seeks to grant citizenship to non-Muslim refugees from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan if they faced religious persecution there, sources said on Wednesday. The bill is expected to be taken up in parliament next week. Defence Minister Rajnath Singh had on Tuesday told BJP parliamentarians that the bill is a top priority, as important as the Article 370 move to end special status to Jammu and Kashmir.
The Bill seeks to amend Citizenship Act, 1955, to grant Indian citizenship to Hindus, Jains, Christians, Sikhs, Buddhists and Parsis from Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan after seven years of residence in India even if they do not possess any document.
The Citizenship bill amends existing laws to grant exemptions to illegal migrants in select categories.