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Citizenship Under Indian Constitution |Law Notes!

Introduction 

 The constitution is a process by which, the state under the constitution, confers on a person certain rights, civil and political rights. In other words, a citizen is a person, who enjoys full civil and political rights. The constitution of India provides for single citizenship (which means a person is a person of a whole country).

Meaning 

“Citizenship” means that the citizens shall receive certain care, protection, facilities, be entitled to hold offices, be eligible for recruitment to public service and be subjected to certain obligations such as taxation etc. 

Definition 

The relationship between the nation and the people who constitute the nation.

It confers upon an individual certain Rights such as Protection by state, Right to vote 

and Right to hold certain public offices among others, in turn for the fulfilment of certain duties/obligation owed by the individual to the state.

Kinds of Citizenship 

Citizenship is of two kinds, namely:

  • Dual Citizenship.
  • Single Citizenship
  • Dual Citizenship: It means, a person/citizen shall have two citizenships viz.,
  • Federal Citizenship and 
  • Citizenship of the State.
  • Single Citizenship: It means, a person will have only one citizenship of his/her country. In India, the citizens will have only the citizenship of India.

Acquisition of Citizenship 

Article 5 to 8 of the Indian Constitution deal with the citizenship of India at the commencement of the constitution. 

Article 9 to 11  deals with the mode of acquisition and loss of Citizenship. The Citizens at the time of Commencement of the Constitution.

What is Citizenship Amendment Act?

The Citizenship Amendment Act was passed on 30th December 1955 by the parliament and was enacted in the 6th year of the Republic of India. During partition, a large number of Hindus and Muslims migrated to and from Pakistan, there created huge refugees. Then people started to apply for Indian Citizenship and that made having citizenship more complicated. Then the parliament introduced this citizenship Act, 1955.

Who can become the citizens of India?  And  How?

There are Four Ways to acquire Indian Citizenship; They are:

  • Birth Sec.3
  • Descent Sec.4
  • Registration Sec.5
  • Naturalization Sec.6

Birth Sec.3 of the Citizenship Act,1955,

Any person, who was born in India on or After  26th January 1950 and before 1st July 1987 irrespective of his/her parent’s Nationality could be a citizen of India.

See also  People's Union of Civil Liberties (PUCL) v. Union of India

Any person, who was born in India after 3rd December 2004 could be concluded as a citizen of India by birth, if one of his/her parents was a citizen of India and the other was not an illegal migrant of India or both parents were citizens of India at the time of birth.

Descent Sec.4 of the Citizenship Act, 1955,

A person born in any other country excluding India on or 26th January 1950, but before 10th December 1992, if his/her father was an Indian citizen by birth, can be confirmed as a citizen of India by descent.

A person born in any other country excluding India on or after 10th December 1992, but before 3rd December 2004, if either one their parent was a citizen of India by birth could confirmation as a citizen by descent.

A person born in any other country excluding India on or after 3rd December 2004, if his/her parents declare that the minor does not have other country’s passport and his birth is registered at an Indian consulate within one year of the date of birth or with the permission of the central government, after the expiry of the declared period.

Registration Sec.5 of the Citizenship Act, 1955,

Anyone before applying for registration as an Indian Citizen has to prove that-

  • They shall be a resident of India for 7 years.

He /She has been a resident of India for 7 years and is married to an Indian Citizen.

He /She is normally resident in any other country or Undivided place of India as per Sec.5 (1)(b) they must be minor.

Neutralization Sec.6 of the Citizenship Act, 1955,

Any person can become an Indian Citizen if He /She is a resident of India for 12 years and have another requirement according to the Third Schedule of Citizenship Act.

Termination of Citizenship under Citizenship Amendment Act (1955)

  • RENUNCIATION (SEC.8) : A Citizen of India as a major renounces his citizenship as a Indian by declaring during any war, in which India is engaged. 
  • TERMINATION (SEC.9): Any person who voluntarily acquires other country citizenship. He will loss his citizenship in India.
  • DEPRIVATION (SEC.10): It is a compulsory termination of citizenship of India. If a person became a citizen of India by naturalization, residence, birth and registration, can be deprived of his citizenship as an Indian by the order of the Central government.
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Part-II containing Article 5-11 of the Indian Constitution lays down the provisions relating to citizenship. Indian Constitution provides for ‘Single Citizenship’. It means only citizenship of India and there is no citizenship of the state.

  • Article 5:-

 At the commencement of this Constitution, every person who has his domicile in the territory of India-

  • He/ She must born in India.
  • One his/ her parent must be born in India.
  • Who has been ordinarily resident in the territory of India for not less than five years immediately preceding such commencement, shall be a citizen of India.He/ She must have their domicile in India at the time of enactment. 
  • Article 6 :-

Anyone who migrated from Pakistan can have Indian Citizenship-

  •  Any of He/ She parents or grandparents was born in India.
  • He/ She have not migrated before 19th July, 1948 and he is also an ordinarily resident of India Since the data of his/ her migration. But, he/ she migrated after 19th July, 1948, he has to register himself as a citizen of India by an officer, who is behalf of the Government of the dominion of India.
  • Article 7 :-

This Article deals with the Citizenship of the person, who are migrated to Pakistan

  • A person, who is already domicile as per Art.5 and migrant as per Art.6 can lose his citizenship in India. 
  • If He /She migrates from India to Pakistan after 1st March, 1947.
  • Article 8 :-

It deals with the Citizenship of those persons, who are migrated to aboard. 

  • He/ She was residing in other countries.
  • If HE/ She registered himself as a citizen of India by a Consular representative of India can acquire his Citizenship in India.
  • Article 9:-

Persons Voluntarily Acquiring Citizenship of a foreign State not to be Citizens. It provides any person, who is having Citizenship in another state cannot acquire Citizenship of India under Art.8.

  • Article 10 :-

It says that, if a person is already a citizen of India, then the new laws, which the parliament brings out with the help of Art.11 will not affect his citizenship.

  • Article 11 :- 

It gives power to the parliament to make law with respect to acquisition and termination of citizenship which means, Art. 11 allows the parliament to regulate citizenship and to make laws on it.

See also  Kailash Prasad v. State of Bihar

Huge Protest against the Citizenship Act 

When the Citizenship Amendment Bill was passed on 12th December 2019 there was a move of high massive protest, which was first started in Assam and then spread hastily to other states such as Delhi, Meghalaya, Arunachal Pradesh and Tripura on 4 December 2019. 

  • Because, The opposition has claimed that the Act was against the basic principles of the Constitution as it “Discriminates” on the basis of religion and it would alienate Muslims, the largest minority Community in the country.
  •  If all countries are making policies to have their Citizenship, then what about the countries like Australia, Norway, Denmark, Sweden, which are not having National Identity.
  • If India want to make Laws on refugees, then it had to accept nearly 10 million refugees from East Pakistan, before the creation of Bangladesh.
  •  During Anti-Tamil violence, many refugees of Sri Lankan arrived to India. India healed them freehandedly and they step backed to their countries.

Purpose of the Citizenship Amendment Act, 1955

The purpose behind the Citizenship Amendment Act, 1955 is to grant Illegal Migrants of Hindu, Buddhist, Jain, Sikh, Paris and Christian Communities coming from Muslim majorities South Asian countries like Afghanistan, Pakistan and Bangladesh. 

Illegal Migrants as per the Citizenship Amendment Act (1955)

According to the Citizenship Amendment Act (1955), a person can be considered an Illegal migrant in two ways- 

  • Any foreigner, who has entered into India without a valid passport or a travel document 
  • Any foreigner, who has entered into India with a valid passport or a travel document, but they are remaining in India beyond the permitted period of time.

Conclusion

The major issue with the amendment is that it provides citizenship only to Non- Muslim immigrants who have lived for five years from the three countries. However,  any foreigner can still apply for citizenship but can only be registered after they have lived in India for 11 years i.e. by the normal process of naturalisation.

Presently, the petition challenging the amendment has been pending in the Supreme Court which will decide its constitutional validity.

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