Citizenship in India

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What is citizenship?

  • Citizenship is the relationship between the state and the individual.
  • It differentiates between citizens and aliens of the country.
  • It defines certain rights which are to be given to the citizens of the country.

Constitutional Provisions relating to Citizenship In India

Part II of Indian Constitution deals with the provisions of Citizenship in India.

Article 5-11 deals with the relationship between the state and the individual. Unlike the other parts of the Constitution ,Part II of the constitution came into force on 26th November 1949 only.

Article 5 states that:

  • Persons who are domiciled and born in India will be given Indian citizenship.
  • Either of whose parents were born in India will be given Indian citizenship.
  • Anyone who is an ordinary resident for more than 5 years was entitled to apply for Indian citizenship.

Article 6 : It provides rights of citizenship to those who had migrated from Pakistan. According to this article people who had migrated to India before 19 July 1949 will automatically acquire citizenship of India.

Article 7: It provides for the rights of the citizens who had migrated to Pakistan after 1st March 1947 but returned to India for resettlement.

Article 8: This article talks about the persons of Indian origin residing outside India.

Article 9 talks about the termination of citizenship in India. It says that any person acquiring citizenship of a foreign state will lose its Indian citizenship.

Article 10: Continuance of the rights of citizenship in India subject to the provisions of any law made by the Parliament.

Article 11: It gives the power of Parliament to make provisions with respect to acquisition and termination of the citizenship in India.

Methods of Acquisition of Citizenship in India:

The Citizenship Act, 1955 define 4 ways of acquiring citizenship in India.

By Birth: Any person born on after the 26th January 1950 but prior to the commencement of  the 1986 Act [ 1 July 1987].

  • On or after the 1st of July, 1987 but before the commencement of the Citizenship Amendment Act, 2003 and either of whose parents is a citizen of India at the time of his birth.
  • On or after the commencement of the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2003 where:
  • Both of his parents are citizens of India
  • One of his parents is a citizen of India and other is not an illegal migrant at the time of his birth.

By descent: A person born outside India shall be a citizen of India if:

  • A person born on or after 26th January 1950 but after 10th December 1992 with the condition that at the time of his birth his father is a citizen of India.
  • A person born on or after 10th December 1992 if either of his parents is a citizen of India at the time of his birth.
  • A person born after 3rd December 2004 shall be deemed to be an Indian citizen unless his birth is registered at an Indian consulate in such form and manner as provided by the Parliament.

By Naturalization

  • A person can acquire Indian citizenship by naturalization if he fulfills all the conditions given in the 3rd Schedule of the Indian constitution. A person applying through naturalisation must be a resident in India for 12 years preceding the application date and out of those 12 years , 12 months of continuous stay in India calculated from the date of application.
  • If the person applying for Indian Citizenship is a citizen of any country then he has to renounce the citizenship of that country.

By Registration

  • A person can acquire Indian citizenship by registration through following ways:
  • A person is of Indian origin and is ordinarily resident in India for seven years before making an application.
  • A person is of Indian origin and is ordinarily resident of any place situated in undivided India.
  • A person who is married to an Indian citizen and is ordinarily resident in India for seven years before making an application.
  • Minor children of persons who are resident of India.

By incorporation of a territory

If any foreign territory becomes a part of India ,Government of India shall specifies the person who among the people of the territory shall be a citizen of India. Such persons become a citizen of India from the notified date.

Who are Overseas Citizens of India and Persons of Indian Origin?

Termination of Indian Citizenship

By Renunciation: A citizen of India can renounce his citizenship by presenting an application before an appropriate authority. 

By Termination: When an Indian citizen voluntarily acquires the citizenship of another country. 

By Deprivation: It is a compulsory termination of Indian citizenship by the Central Government if:

  • Citizenship is acquired by fraud.
  • Citizen showed disloyalty to the Government of India
  • Concealment of a material fact while applying for citizenship for India.
  • Citizen has been out of India for a continuous period of seven years. 

Citizenship Amendment Act, 2019

  • It mandates the persons belonging to the six minority communities namely namely, Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis and Christians of three Muslim majority  neighboring countries Pakistan , Afghanistan and Bangladesh entering into India without valid document should not be treated as Illegal Migrants under Passport (Entry into India) Act of 1920 and the Foreigners Act of 1946.
  • Time period of continuous stay in India for acquiring citizenship from the above mentioned 6 minority communities from the 3 neighboring countries be reduced to 6 years from the previous 11 years requirement.

Issues with the Act

  • This bill is against the Basic structure of the Constitution. Art 14 provides Right to Equality for both Indian citizens and foreigners residing in India. However ,Citizenship Amendment Bill,2016 excludes the Muslim community which also faces fears of persecution in these countries.
  • It conflicts with the Clause 6 of Assam Accord and provisions of NRC which provides for the deportation of illegal migrants from Bangladesh irrespective of their religion. This caused widespread protest in north eastern states of India, especially in Assam.
  • Termination of citizenship granted to OCI on violation of any law governing in the country. ” Violation of law” is a very ambiguous term which includes both “crossing red light to murdering someone”.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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