The Lok Sabha on 2 March 2015 passed the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2015 by voice vote. The Bill seeks to amend the Citizenship Act, 1955 which regulates the acquisition and determination of citizenship and details registration of Overseas Citizens of India and their rights.
The Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2015 was introduced in Lok Sabha on 27 February 2015. The Bill, if enacted, will be considered to have come into force on 6 January 2015.
Provisions of the Bill
It allows the Union Government to relax the requirement of 12 months stay or service if special circumstances exist in cases related to citizenship by registration and naturalization. Relaxation up to 30 days may be permitted by the government.
It provides additional grounds for registering an Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) card such as Minor children whose parent(s) are Indian citizens, spouse of an Indian citizen or OCI/ PIO cardholder subjected to certain conditions, great-grandchild of a person who is a citizen of another country, but meets one of several conditions of Citizenship Act, 1955.
It introduces a new provision which allows the union government to register a person as an OCI cardholder even if he does not satisfy any of the listed qualifications.
It provides that union government may notify that PIO cardholders shall be considered to be OCI cardholders from a specified date. It merges Persons of Indian Origin and Overseas Citizen of India cardholders.
It allows the union government to cancel the OCI card where it is obtained by the spouse of an Indian citizen or Overseas Citizen of India cardholder, if the marriage is dissolved by a court, or the spouse enters into another marriage.