On the verge: Revocation and denial of citizenship in India

Bhat, M. Mohsin Alam and Yadav, Aashish (2021) On the verge: Revocation and denial of citizenship in India. [Working papers (or Preprints)]

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Citizenship has become one of the most definitive subjects of crisis in India since 2014. In December 2019, the Indian government passed the controversial Citizenship Amendment Act (‘the CAA’). For the first time, India explicitly incorporated a religious test for citizenship despite asserting to have a secular constitution. From 2014 to 2019, the Indian Supreme Court supervised a citizen enumeration process called the National Register of Citizens (‘the NRC’) in the state, in the background of a long history of anti-immigrant sentiment. The final list of the NRC in August 2019 left out 1.9 million residents of the state. They now stand at the verge of statelessness, with only the right of appeal to the government instituted tribunals. We argue that that these policies – appreciated in their larger historical trajectory and full practical context – amount to citizenship denial and threaten citizenship revocation. We place the NRC in Assam and the CAA-NRIC in their legal, historical and political context. We describe their antecedents and legal mechanics. We also give an account of the arguments that important social and political actors have made across the spectrum of opinion. We show that a series of citizenship denial policies led up to the enactment of the CAA in 2019. The CAA has partially – and discriminatorily – made certain religious groups immune from citizenship denial, aggravating the impact on excluded groups. We argue that the procedural arbitrariness and legally unspecified safeguards in Assam’s NRC threaten citizenship revocation. We also argue that the cumulative operation of the CAA and the proposed NRIC threatens mass citizenship revocation. We argue that NRC and CAA-NRIC are dangerous schemes of citizenship revocation that can impact not only certain undocumented migrants but also make Indian citizens extremely vulnerable to citizenship revocation.

Item Type: Working papers (or Preprints)
Keywords: Citizenship | Citizenship revocation | Citizenship deprivation | Citizenship denial | Statelessness | India | Citizenship Amendment Act | Right to nationality | Discrimination | Assam
Subjects: Social Sciences and humanities > Social Sciences > Law and Legal Studies
Social Sciences and humanities > Social Sciences > Political Science
JGU School/Centre: Jindal Global Law School
Depositing User: Admin Library
Date Deposited: 14 Mar 2022 07:13
Last Modified: 15 Mar 2022 06:36
Official URL: https://cadmus.eui.eu/bitstream/handle/1814/70213/...
URI: https://pure.jgu.edu.in/id/eprint/1601


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