New Delhi [India], May 29 (ANI): The Ministry of Home Affairs on Friday invited applications from the immigrants belonging to minority communities from Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Bangladesh, residing in 13 districts of Gujarat, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, Haryana and Punjab to apply for Indian citizenship.
The Union Home Ministry has also delegated powers to grant Indian citizenship to the immigrants to the home secretaries of Punjab and Haryana, besides collectors of districts spread across Gujarat, Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan, Haryana and Punjab.
"In exercise of the powers conferred by section 16 of the Citizenship Act, 1955 (57 of 1955), the Central Government hereby directs that powers exercisable by it, for registration as a citizen of India under section 5, or for grant of certificate of naturalisation under section 6, of the Citizenship Act, 1955, in respect of any person belonging to the minority community in Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan, namely, Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis and Christians(hereinafter referred to as "the applicant"), residing in the districts mentioned in clause (a) below and the States mentioned in clause (b) below," the notification of Union Home Ministry read.
In the notification issued, the Home Ministry said that the collectors of Morbi, Rajkot, Patan and Vadodara in Gujarat; Durg and Balodabazar in Chhattisgarh; Jalore, Udaipur, Pali, Barmer and Sirohi in Rajasthan; Faridabad in Haryana and Jalandhar in Punjab would have the powers exercisable by the Central government for registration as a citizen of India under Section 5, or for grant of certificate of naturalisation under Section 6 of the Citizenship Act, 1955 in respect of Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladeshi applicants belonging to minority community there, who are ordinarily resident in their respective districts.
In respect of applicants residing in districts other than Faridabad in Haryana and Jalandhar in Punjab, the secretaries of home departments of the two states can exercise these powers, the Ministry said.
"The application for registration as a citizen of India or grant of certificate of naturalisation as citizen of India under the said rules shall be made by the applicant online. The verification of the application is done simultaneously by the Collector or the Secretary, as the case may be, at the district level and the State level and the application and the reports thereon shall be made accessible simultaneously to the Central Government on the online portal," the notification issued by the Ministry said.
The notification further said, "The Collector or the Secretary, as the case may be, on being satisfied with the suitability of the applicant, grants him the citizenship of India by registration or naturalisation and issues a certificate of registration or naturalisation, as the case may be, duly printed from the online portal and signed by the Collector or the Secretary, as the case may be, in the form as prescribed in the said rules."
"The Collector and the Secretary shall maintain an online as well as physical register, in accordance with the said rules, containing the details of the person so registered or naturalised as a citizen of India and furnish a copy thereof to the Central Government within seven days of such registration or naturalisation," it added. (ANI)