The Indian home ministry has sought three more months' time to frame the rules of the controversial Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), which was passed by parliament in December last year, officials said today.
The plea for more time was put forward before the home ministry-related standing committee for subordinate legislation.
According to the Manual on Parliamentary Work, the rules for any legislation should be framed within six months of the presidential assent or an extension must be sought.
The CAA, which gives Indian citizenship to persecuted non-Muslim minorities from Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan, was passed by both houses of parliament, sparking violent street protests across the country that left scores of people dead.
The Lok Sabha had passed the CAA legislation on December 9, 2019 and the Rajya Sabha on December 11, 2019.
The president had given his assent to the CAA on December 12, 2019.
The home ministry's move came after the standing committee enquired about the status of the rules for the CAA. The committee is likely to accept the request, the official said.
The objective of the CAA is to grant Indian citizenship to persecuted minorities -- Hindu, Sikh, Jain, Buddhist, Parsi and Christian -- from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan.
People from these communities who had come to India till December 31, 2014 due to religious persecution in these countries will be granted Indian citizenship.
Critics of the CAA argue that it discriminates on the basis of religion and violates the constitution in the matter of granting citizenship. They also allege that the CAA, along with the National Register of Citizens, is intended to target the Muslim community in India.
However, Indian Home Minister Amit Shah had dismissed the charges and described the protests against the CAA as "mostly political". He had asserted that no Indian will lose citizenship due to the CAA.
Violent clashes between pro and anti-CAA groups had snowballed into communal riots in parts of Northeast Delhi early this year which had left at least 53 people dead and around 200 injured.