What’s going to happen to CAA now?

Deadline to fix rules for implementation of the act lapses at it has been over 6-months since the passage of the act and issue of notification


It has been over six months since the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) was passed and the Ministry of Home Affairs is yet to put together rules for its implementation. As per parliamentary procedure the procedures as per which the act is to be implemented need to be fixed within six months.

But a variety of media reports say that this deadline has passed. According to reports in The Wire, The Assam Tribune and The Hindu, this deadline ended anywhere between June 18 and July 10, depend on when one starts calculating; day of passage of the act or day of issue of notification. In such a scenario, the next step for the MHA is to apply for deadline extension.

According to the point 11.3.1 of the Manual of Parliamentary Procedure, “Statutory rules, regulations and bye-laws will be framed within a period of six months from the date on which the relevant statute came into force. Cases in which, for any reasons, this is not possible, will be brought to the notice of the Secretary and the Minister at the earliest possible stage.”

Moreover, according to point 11.3.2 of the same manual, “ In case the Ministries/Departments are not able to frame the rules within the prescribed period of six months, they should seek extension of time from the Committee on Subordinate Legislation stating reasons for such extension; such extension being not more than for a period of three months at a time. The request should be made after obtaining the approval of the Minister.”

However, according to The Hindu, the Parliamentary Standing Committee of Subordinate Legislation is yet to receive any such communication from the MHA. Chairman of the committee and YSRCP MP K. Raghu Rama Krishna Raju told the publication, “We will be writing a letter to the MHA as there is no request for extension of time (for notifying the rules), will send them a reminder to give us a status [report]. As per norms, MHA should have framed the rules within six months or seek extension.”

It is noteworthy that at present the BJP does not have a majority in the committee. The YSRCP has already done a u-turn on its stand on CAA after supporting it in both houses. Other member os the committee are D Raja of the DMK, three members of the Congress Party, one from the Samajwadi Party, and one TRS MP (whose stand is not yet known).

Taking to Twitter about the lapsed deadline, former Finance Minister and External Affairs Minister, Yashwant Sinha said, “Did you know that the CAA rules have not been framed and notified despite a lapse of 7 months. The act cannot be implemented in the absence of rules.? Do you realise how the whole thing was just meant to fool the people and win elections?”



The controversial act has already led to multiple protests across the country for different reasons. While those in Delhi, Aligarh, Mumbai etc. focused on how by exclusively excluding Muslim refugees from its fold the act violates the Constitution, in Assam the act has added more fuel to the fire amidst a raging citizenship debate in light of the National Register of Citizens (NRC) that was updated and published in the state after a long process last August. Elections are due in Assam next year, where despite the Covid-19 outbreak and devastation caused by floods, citizenship remains such a touchy subject that five people from flood-hit villages were issued ‘foreigner’ notice and asked to appear before a Foreigners’ Tribunal to defend their citizenship.



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