Citizenship Amendment Bill: Areas Under Inner Line Permit & Sixth Schedule Exempted to Allay Northeast States' Concerns
File image of protest against Citizenship Amendment Bill (Photo Credits: IANS)

New Delhi, December 4: The Union Cabinet on Wednesday approved the contentious Citizenship Amendment Bill or CAB. According to the Citizenship Amendment Bill, states and regions under the Inner Line Permit system (ILP), and those granted autonomous administration under the Sixth Schedule of the Constitution will be out of the purview of the proposed legislation. It means Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoram and Nagaland (except the city of Dimapur) and a large part of Assam, Meghalaya and Tripura are exempted.

"Nothing in this section shall apply to Assam, Meghalaya, Mizoram and Tripura as included in the Sixth Schedule to the Constitution, and to the areas covered under the inner line notified under the Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulation, 1873," the Citizenship Amendment Bill mentions. The proposed legislation seeks to provide Indian nationality to Hindus, Christians, Sikhs, Parsis, Jains and Buddhists fleeing persecution in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh before December 31, 2014. India is 'Hindu Rashtra' as 100 Crore Hindus Reside Here, Says BJP MP Ravi Kishan.

"Any person belonging to Hindu, Sikh, Jain or Christian community from Afghanistan, Bangladesh or Pakistan entering India on or before December 31, 2014 and who has been exempted by the central government by or under clause C of subsection 2 of section 3 of the passport entry into India Act, 1920 or from application of the provisions of the Foreigners Act, 1946 or any rule there under, not be treated illegal migrant for the purpose of this Act," the Citizenship Amendment Bill states.

What is an Inner Line Permit?

An Inner Line Permit is an official travel document required by Indian citizens to visit or stay in states and regions where it is applicable. Indian citizens who do not belong to these regions need to have the document to visit or stay in regions placed under the ILP system, which aims to protect the interests of the indigenous tribal communities of the Northeast. Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoram and Nagaland (except the city of Dimapur) are currently under the ILP system. If the Citizenship Amendment Bill is passed, refugees who will be granted citizenship will not be permitted to settle in Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland and Mizoram.

Sixth Schedule of the Constitution:

As per Article 244, the Sixth Schedule of the Constitution deals with the administration of the tribal areas in the four northeastern states of Assam, Meghalaya, Tripura and Mizoram. There are 10 areas under the Sixth Schedule across northeast - Assam (3), Meghalaya (3), Mizoram (3) and Tripura (1). The acts of Parliament or the state legislature do not apply to these areas. Hence, if the Citizenship Amendment Bill is passed, it will have no effect in areas under the Sixth Schedule.