Jodhpur, Aug 19 (PTI) The Rajasthan High Court here on Wednesday sought to know from the Centre about the progress on the drafting of rules for the implementation of the Citizenship Amendement Act passed by Parliament last year.
According to the amended citizenship act, members of Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist,Jain, Parsi and Christian communities who have come from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan till December 31, 2014 and facing religious persecution there will not be treated as illegal immigrants and be given Indian citizenship.
The court direction came on a suo motu petition regarding problems faced by migrants from Pakistan.
The Division Bench of Justice Snageet Lodha and Justice Rameshwar Vyas also sought a reply from the state and Union governments on providing temporary ration cards to them and extending NORI (no objection to return to India) visa to the refugees who had gone to Pakistan before the coronavirus lockdown and were stuck there.
Amicus curie Sajjan Singh Rathore submitted before the court that a large number of migrants were eligible for citizenship after the implementation of the Act.
“In spite of the promulgation of the Act, there was no advantage in the absence of rules and guidelines,” argued Rathore, adding that citizenship will put an end to their grievances.
Seemant Lok Sangthan chief Hindu Singh Sodha said many families face harassment in the absence of citizenship.
“If the rules and guidelines are framed and the process of granting citizenship started accordingly, most of the grievances of these people would automatically end,” Sodha said.
Referring to the issue of the NORI visa, under which migratns on a long-term visa or short-term visa are permitted to visit their country for a period of 60 days, Rathore argued that many people who went to Pakistan before the lockdown were stuck there.
“Due to the lockdown, their 60-day limit had expired and now they are not being permitted to travel back to India, citing the expiry of their NORI visa,” he argued, praying that they be granted permission to travel back to India.
Besides, it was prayed that the court direct the state government to expedite the process of either providing temporary ration cards to minority refugees or make an arrangement so that they could get free ration.
Granting all three prayers, the court issued notices to the state and Union governments seeking a reply within a week. The next hearing is scheduled for August 27. PTI CORR RDK RDK