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December 8, 2023 @ 7:00 am - 11:30 pm


A Constitution Bench led by the Chief Justice of India is currently scrutinizing the constitutionality of Section 6A of the Citizenship Act, 1955. The focus of this examination is exclusively on Section 6A and not the Assam National Register of Citizens (NRC).

Section 6A, introduced in 1985 as part of the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, aims to address the challenges posed by large-scale migration to Assam preceding the 1971 Bangladesh Liberation War.

This provision created a unique set of citizenship criteria for Assam, raising constitutional and demographic concerns.

Understanding Section 6A:


Enacted in 1985 as per the Assam Accord, a tripartite agreement to curb illegal migration from Bangladesh.

Introduced in response to historical challenges, particularly migration preceding the 1971 Bangladesh Liberation War.

Provisions and Implications:

Deems persons of Indian origin from Bangladesh before January 1, 1966, as Indian citizens.

Individuals arriving in Assam between January 1, 1966, and March 25, 1971, can obtain citizenship after 10 years of residence, subject to conditions.

Those entering after March 25, 1971, are to be detected and deported as per the law.


Constitutional Validity:

Article 6: Section 6A’s compliance with Article 6 of the Constitution is questioned.

Article 14: Concerns raised about potential violations of the right to equality, as the provision applies exclusively to Assam.

Demographic and Cultural Impact:

Section 6A’s alleged contribution to an influx of illegal migrants raises demographic concerns.

Petitioners argue that the provision has led to a radical demographic change affecting the cultural identity of Assam.

Understanding Citizenship:

Citizenship entails the legal relationship between an individual and a state, defining specific rights and duties.

Constitutional Provisions: Articles 5 to 11 in Part II of the Constitution deal with various aspects of citizenship.

Citizenship Act:

The Parliament enacted the Citizenship Act, 1955, to regulate citizenship matters.

Subject to multiple amendments, the latest in 2019 grants citizenship to certain illegal migrants from specific communities and countries.


The ongoing scrutiny of Section 6A’s constitutionality raises pivotal questions about its compliance with constitutional principles and its impact on Assam’s demographic and cultural landscape.

As the Constitution Bench delves into the nuances of this provision, the delicate balance between addressing historical challenges and ensuring equitable treatment comes to the forefront.

Citizenship, being a fundamental aspect of a nation, demands thoughtful examination and amendments that align with constitutional values and the diverse needs of different regions.

The outcome of this examination will likely shape the trajectory of citizenship laws in India, emphasizing the importance of a judicious and inclusive approach.


December 8, 2023
7:00 am - 11:30 pm
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