Citizenship in India
- May 24, 2022
- Posted by: admin1
- Category: DPN Topics
Citizenship in India
Subject : Polity
Section : Citizenship
- Citizenship is listed in the Union List under the Constitution and thus is under the exclusive jurisdiction of Parliament.
- The Constitution does not define the term ‘citizen’ but details of various categories of persons who are entitled to citizenship are given in Part 2 (Articles 5 to 11).
- Unlike other provisions of the Constitution, which came into being on January 26, 1950, these articles were enforced on November 26, 1949 itself, when the Constitution was adopted.
- Article 5: It provided for citizenship on commencement of the Constitution.
- All those domiciled and born in India were given citizenship.
- Even those who were domiciled but not born in India, but either of whose parents were born in India, were considered citizens.
- Anyone who had been an ordinary resident for more than five years, too, was entitled to apply for citizenship.
- Article 6: It provided rights of citizenship of certain persons who have migrated to India from Pakistan.
- Since Independence was preceded by Partition and migration, Article 6 laid down that anyone who migrated to India before July 19, 1949, would automatically become an Indian citizen if either of his parents or grandparents was born in India.
- But those who entered India after this date needed to register themselves.
- Article 7: Provided Rights of citizenship of certain migrants to Pakistan.
- Those who had migrated to Pakistan after March 1, 1947 but subsequently returned on resettlement permits were included within the citizenship net.
- The law was more sympathetic to those who migrated from Pakistan and called them refugees than to those who, in a state of confusion, were stranded in Pakistan or went there but decided to return soon.
- Article 8: Provided Rights of citizenship of certain persons of Indian origin residing outside India.
- Any Person of Indian Origin residing outside India who, or either of whose parents or grandparents, was born in India could register himself or herself as an Indian citizen with Indian Diplomatic Mission.
- Article 9: Provided that if any person voluntarily acquired the citizenship of a foreign State will no longer be a citizen of India.
- Article 10: It says that every person who is or is deemed to be a citizen of India under any of the foregoing provisions of this Part shall, subject to the provisions of any law that may be made by Parliament, continue to be such citizen.
- Article 11: It empowers Parliament to make any provision with respect to the acquisition and termination of citizenship and all matters relating to it.
- India does not allow dual citizenship. According to Section 9 of the Indian Citizenship Act, 1955, any Indian citizen who acquires foreign citizenship ceases to be an Indian citizen.
- “Any citizen of India who by naturalization, registration, otherwise voluntarily acquires, or has at any time between the 26th January, 1950 and the commencement of this Act, voluntarily acquired the citizenship of another country shall, upon such acquisition or, as the case may be, such commencement, cease to be a citizen of India,” Section 9 says.
- The only exception when this law does not apply is when the two concerned countries are at war with each other.
- Neither the Act nor the Citizenship Rules of 2009 specify any procedure required for termination of citizenship in case of acquisition of foreign citizenship.
- Legal experts say the law is clear that Indian citizenship will cease to exist the moment one acquires foreign citizenship.
- The Indian Citizenship Act, 1955, does not allow dual citizenship.
- The Government of India has prescribed imposition of penalty on a graded scale, depending on number of trips made on Indian passport after acquiring foreign nationality, for the violation of Passport Rules and retention of Indian Passport for more than three years after acquiring of foreign nationality.
- The Citizenship Act, 1955 has rules for acquisition and loss of citizenship in India. Articles 5 to 11 in Part 2 of the Indian constitution has the provisions of citizenship.
Acquisition and Determination of Indian Citizenship
- There are four ways in which Indian citizenship can be acquired: birth, descent, registration and naturalisation. The provisions are listed under the Citizenship Act, 1955.
- By Birth:
- Every person born in India on or after 26.01.1950 but before 01.07.1987 is an Indian citizen irrespective of the nationality of his/her parents.
- Every person born in India between 01.07.1987 and 02.12.2004 is a citizen of India given either of his/her parents is a citizen of the country at the time of his/her birth.
- Every person born in India on or after 3.12.2004 is a citizen of the country given both his/her parents are Indians or at least one parent is a citizen and the other is not an illegal migrant at the time of birth.
- By Registration: Citizenship can also be acquired by registration. Some of the mandatory rules are:
- A person of Indian origin who has been a resident of India for 7 years before applying for registration.
- A person of Indian origin who is a resident of any country outside undivided India.
- A person who is married to an Indian citizen and is ordinarily resident for 7 years before applying for registration.
- Minor children of persons who are citizens of India.
- By Descent:
- A person born outside India on or after January 26, 1950 is a citizen of India by descent if his/her father was a citizen of India by birth.
- A person born outside India on or after December 10, 1992, but before December 3, 2004 if either of his/her parent was a citizen of India by birth.
- If a person born outside India or or after December 3, 2004 has to acquire citizenship, his/her parents have to declare that the minor does not hold a passport of another country and his/her birth is registered at an Indian consulate within one year of birth.
- By Naturalisation:
- A person can acquire citizenship by naturalisation if he/she is ordinarily resident of India for 12 years (throughout 12 months preceding the date of application and 11 years in the aggregate) and fulfils all qualifications in the third schedule of the Citizenship Act.
- The Act does not provide for dual citizenship or dual nationality. It only allows citizenship for a person listed under the provisions above ie: by birth, descent, registration or naturalisation.
Termination of Indian Citizenship
- The Citizenship Act, 1955 cites three reasons for the termination of citizenship;
- Voluntary Renunciation
- By Termination
- By Deprivation