KANNUR: The Kannur Collectorate has got three applications seeking citizenship under the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, said District Collector TV Subhash. The applicants had applied on the website of the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), in addition to sending three hard copies each of their applications to the collectorate.
Question 7A of the form asks the applicants: "Do you belong to one of the minority communities from Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan, namely Hindu, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis and Christians? If Yes, Please specify." The question is clearly based on the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA), 2019, as pointed out by Vinod ER, the lawyer for one of the applicants and a former government pleader.
According to him, however, there were two issues with the question. "Firstly, the question has been introduced before the rules under the Act have been framed. Forms are governed by rules," he said. "Secondly, the application does not ask for any documentary evidence to prove the religion of the applicant. This is because only the rules will decide on the documents required," he said.
"Either the government was in a hurry to bring in the amendment, or it was trying to do so on the sly," he added. As of now, the application form for citizenship (Form 6) is governed by the Citizenship Rules framed in 2009.
Vinod’s client is an 18-year-old Malayali Muslim boy from Kannur. While his father is an Indian citizen by birth, his mother (a Malayali) was born in Pakistan. The teen was also born in Pakistan, in 2002. The family relocated to their ancestral home in Kannur in 2008.
After six years, his mother was granted Indian citizenship in 2014. "My client has the Overseas Indian Citizen card. But now that he has turned 18, he wanted to apply for Indian citizenship," said Vinod.
Vinod said though Muslims from Pakistan were excluded from the amendment, it would not be disadvantageous for his client. He, however, said the form exposed the hollow stance of politicians on implementing the CAA.
"As part of the procedure, three hard copies of the applications had to be submitted to the collectorate’s secret section," he said. One of the forms will be sent to the District Police Chief for applicant verification, the second copy will be sent to the state Home department, and the third copy will be kept at the collectorate.
Senior Congress leaders had already said that the states could not stop the implementation of the CAA, but could only protest against it.
The applicant is an 18-year-old Malayali Muslim boy from Kannur
While his father is an Indian citizen by birth, his mother (a Malayali) was born in Pakistan
The teen was also born in Pakistan, in 2002
The family relocated to their ancestral home in Kannur in 2008. He currently holds an OIC card, the lawyer said