CITIZENSHIP | Polity
Introduction | CITIZENSHIP | POLITY
- The population of a State is divided into two classes – citizens and aliens. While citizens enjoy full civil and political Citizenship rights, aliens do not enjoy all of them. Citizens are members of the political community to which they belong. They are the people who compose the State.
- The question of citizenship became particularly important at the time of the making of our Constitution because the Constitution sought to confer certain rights and privileges upon those who were entitled to Indian Citizenship while they were to be denied to ‘aliens’. The latter were even placed under certain disabilities.
- Thus, citizens of India have the following rights under the Constitution which aliens shall not have:
- Some of the Fundamental Rights belong to citizens alone, such as.-Arts. 15, 16, 19.
- Only citizens are eligible for certain offices such as those of the President, Vice-President, Judge of the Supreme Court or of a High Court; Attorney-General; Governor of a State ; Advocate-General [Art. 165].
- The right of suffrage for election to the House of the People (of the Union) and the Legislative Assembly of every State [Art. 326] and the right to become a member of Parliament and of the Legislature of a State are also confined to citizens.
- All the above rights are denied to aliens whether they are ‘friendly’ or ‘enemy aliens’. But ‘enemy aliens’ suffer from a special disability; they are not entitled to the benefit of the procedural provisions in Art. 22 relating to arrest and detention. An alien enemy includes not only subjects of a State at war with India but also Indian citizens who voluntarily reside in or trade with such a State.
- The Constitution, however, did not intend to lay down a permanent or comprehensive law relating to citizenship in India. It Simply described the classes of persons who would be deemed to be the statutory basis of citizens of India at the date of the commencement of the Citizenship in Constitution and left the entire law of citizenship to be India regulated by some future law made by Parliament.
- Parliament has enacted the Citizenship Act making elaborate provisions for the acquisition and termination of citizenship subsequent to the commencement of the Constitution the provisions of this Act are to be read with the provisions of Part II of the Constitution, in order to get a complete picture of the law of Indian citizenship.
- In view of the fact that the Act of Parliament only deals with the modes of acquisition of citizenship subsequen: to the commencement of the Constitution, It would be convenient to deal with them separately.
Fundamental Rights To Citizens And Aliens
The following rights are not enjoyed by aliens:
- Right against discrimination on any grounds
- Equality of opportunity in public service
- Right to freedom of expression, association, movement, profession, residence, assembly.
- Right to vote
- Right to contest for elections of MP , MLA
- Right to hold office of president, vice president, judges of SC / HC, attorney general or advocate general and governor.
Along with rights, fundamental duties are also applicable to Indian citizens only. In India office of president is available to citizen by birth or naturalization unlike USA [only birth].
Article 5 : Citizenship At The Commencement Of The Constitution | CITIZENSHIP | POLITY
At the commencement of this Constitution, every person who has his domicile in the territory of India and –
- Who was born in the territory of India; or
- Either of whose parents was born in the territory of India; or
- 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.
Article 6: Rights Of Citizenship Of Certain Persons Who Have Migrated To India From Pakistan
Notwithstanding anything in article 5, a person who has migrated to the territory of India from the territory now included in Pakistan shall be deemed to be a citizen of India at the commencement of this Constitution if –
- He or either of his parents or any of his grand-parents was born in India as defined in the Government of India Act, 1935 (as originally enacted); and
- In the case where such person has so migrated before the nineteenth day of July, 1948, he has been ordinarily resident in the territory of India since the date of his migration, or
- In the case where such person has so migrated on or after the nineteenth day of July, 1948, he has been registered as a citizen of India by an officer appointed in that behalf by the Government of the Dominion of India on an application made by him therefor to such officer before the commencement of this Constitution in the form and manner prescribed by that Government:
- Provided that no person shall be so registered unless he has been resident in the territory of India for at least six months immediately preceding the date of his application.
Article 7: Rights Of Citizenship Of Certain Migrants To Pakistan | CITIZENSHIP | POLITY
Notwithstanding anything in articles 5 and 6, a person who has after the first day of March 1947, migrated from the territory of India to the territory now included in Pakistan shall not be deemed to be a citizen of India:
Provided that nothing in this article shall apply to a person who, after having so migrated to the territory now included in Pakistan, has returned to the territory of India under a permit for resettlement or permanent return issued by or under the authority of any law and every such person shall for the purposes of clause (b) of Article 6 be deemed to have migrated to the territory of India after the nineteenth day of July, 1948.
Article 8: Rights Of Citizenship Of Certain Persons Of Indian Origin Residing Outside India
Notwithstanding anything in article 5, any person who or either of whose parents or any of whose grandparents was born in India as defined in the Government of India Act, 1935 (as originally enacted), and who is ordinarily residing in any country outside India as so defined shall be deemed to be a citizen of India if he has been registered as a citizen of India by the diplomatic or consular representative of India in the country where he is for the time being residing on an application made by him therefor to such diplomatic or consular representative, whether before or after the commencement of this Constitution, in the form and manner prescribed by the Government of the Dominion of India or the Government of India.
Article 9: Persons Voluntarily Acquiring Citizenship Of A Foreign State Not To Be Citizens
No person shall be a citizen of India by virtue of article 5 or be deemed to be a citizen of India by virtue of article 6 or article 8 if he has voluntarily acquired the citizenship of any foreign State.
Article 10: Continuance Of The Rights Of Citizenship
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: Parliament To Regulate The Right Of Citizenship By Law | CITIZENSHIP | POLITY
Nothing in the foregoing provisions of this Part shall derogate from the power of Parliament to make any provision with respect to the acquisition and termination of citizenship and all other matters relating to citizenship.
Citizenship Act, 1955
- Citizenship of India can be acquired in the following ways:
- Citizenship at the commencement of the Constitution
- Citizenship by birth
- Citizenship by descent
- Citizenship by registration
- Citizenship by naturalization
- By incorporation of territory (by the Government of India)
- People who were domiciled in India as on 26th November 1949 automatically became citizens of India by virtue of citizenship at the commencement of the Constitution.
- Persons who were born in India on or after 26th January 1950 but before 1st July 1987 are Indian citizens.
- A person born after 1st July 1987 is an Indian citizen if either of the parents was a citizen of India at the time of birth.
- Persons born after 3rd December 2004 are Indian citizens if both parents are Indian citizens or if one parent is an Indian citizen and the other is not an illegal migrant at the time of birth.
- Citizenship by birth is not applicable for children of foreign diplomatic personnel and those of enemy aliens.
Termination of Indian Citizenship | CITIZENSHIP | POLITY
Termination of the citizenship is possible in three ways:
- Renunciation: If any citizen of India who is also a national of another country renounces his Indian citizenship through a declaration in the prescribed manner, he ceases to be an Indian citizen. When a male person ceases to be a citizen of India, every minor child of his also ceases to be a citizen of India. However, such a child may within one year after attaining full age become an Indian citizen by making a declaration of his intention to resume Indian citizenship.
- Termination: Indian citizenship can be terminated if a citizen knowingly or voluntarily adopts the citizenship of any foreign country.
- Deprivation: The government of India can deprive a person of his citizenship in some cases. But this is not applicable for all citizens. It is applicable only in the case of citizens who have acquired the citizenship by registration, naturalisation or only by Article 5 Clause (c) (which is citizenship at commencement for domicile in India and who has ordinarily been a resident of India for not less than 5 years immediately preceding the commencement of the Constitution). ( CITIZENSHIP | POLITY )
Persons of Indian Origin (PIO) Card
- A PIO card applicant has to be a person of Indian origin who is a citizen of any country, other than Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Bhutan, Afghanistan, China and Nepal; or a person who has held an Indian passport at any time or is the spouse of an Indian citizen or a person of Indian origin;
Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) Card
- OCI Card is for foreign nationals who were eligible for Indian citizenship on 26th January 1950 or was an Indian citizen on or after that date.
- Citizens of Pakistan and Bangladesh are not eligible for OCI Card. An OCI card holder does not have voting rights.
- OCI is not dual citizenship. OCI cardholders are not Indian citizens.
- The OCI Card is a multipurpose, multiple entry lifelong visa for visiting India.
- Persons with OCI Cards have equal rights as NRIs in terms of financial, educational and economic matters. But they cannot acquire agricultural land in India.
Citizenship Amendement Act 2019 | CITIZENSHIP | POLITY
- The Citizenship Amendment Bill (CAA Bill) was first introduced in 2016 by the Lok Sabha by amending the Citizenship Act of 1955. This bill was referred to a Joint Parliamentary Committee, whose report was later submitted on January 7, 2019.
- The Citizenship Amendment Bill was passed on January 8, 2019, by the Lok Sabha which lapsed with the dissolution of the 16th Lok Sabha.
- This Bill was introduced again on 9 December 2019 by the Minister of Home Affairs Amit Shah in the 17th Lok Sabha and was later passed on 10 December 2019. The Rajya Sabha also passed the bill on 11th December.
- The CAA was passed to provide Indian citizenship to the illegal migrants who entered India on or before 31st December 2014.
- The Act was passed for migrants of six different religions such as Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis and Christians from Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan. Any individual will be considered eligible for this act if he/she has resided in India during the last 12 months and for 11 of the previous 14 years.
- For the specified class of illegal migrants, the number of years of residency has been relaxed from 11 years to five years.
Pravasi Bharatiya Divas
- Pravasi kaushal vikas yojana shall be launched soon. The aim of this is enhancing skills of various persons travelling abroad for employment opportunities. This scheme shall ensure that they get better economic opportunities.
- VAJRA [Visiting Adjunct Joint Research Faculty] scheme to enable Indian scientific community abroad to participate in research and development in India by working in an institution in India for 3-4 months.
- Investments made by PIO’s and Company’s or trusts owned by them shall be deemed to be on par with investments made by resident indians.