Constitutional Provision For Citizenship
- The Constitution deals with the citizenship from 5 to 11 under Part II.
- It contains neither any permanent nor any elaborate provisions in this regard.
- It only identifies the persons who became citizens of India at its commencement (January 26, 1950).
- It does not deal with the problem of acquisition or loss of citizenship subsequent to its commencement.
- It empowers the PARLIAMENT to enact a law to provide for such matters and any other matter relating to citizenship. Accordingly, the Parliament has enacted the Citizenship Act (1955), which has been amended from time to time.
- According to the Constitution, the following four categories of persons became the citizens of India at its commencement i.e., on January 26, 1950:
A person who had his domicile in India and also fulfilled any one of the three conditions –
|1. If he was born in India; or
2. If either of his parents was born in India; or
3. If he has been ordinarily resident in India for five years immediately before the commencement of the Constitution, became a citizen of India.
A person who migrated to India from Pakistan became an Indian citizen if he or either of his parents or any of his grandparents was born in undivided India and also fulfilled any one of the two conditions –
|1. In case he migrated to India before July 19, 1948 , he had been ordinarily resident in India since the date of his migration; or
2. In case he migrated to India on or after July 19, 1948, he had been registered as a citizen of India. But, a person could be so registered only if he had been resident in India for six months preceding the date of his application for registration.
|A person who, or any of whose parents or grandparents, was born in undivided India but who is ordinarily residing outside India shall become an Indian citizen if –||1. He has been registered as a citizen of India by the diplomatic or consular representative of India in the country of his residence, whether before or after the commencement of the Constitution. Thus, this provision covers the overseas Indians who may want to acquire Indian citizenship.|
|A person who migrated to Pakistan from India after March 1, 1947, but later returned to India for resettlement could become an Indian citizen –||1. For this, he had to be resident in India for six months preceding the date of his application for registration .|
- To sum up, these provisions deal with the citizenship of –
- persons domiciled in India;
- persons migrated from Pakistan;
- persons migrated to Pakistan but later returned; and
- persons of Indian origin residing outside India.
- The other constitutional provisions with respect to the citizenship are as follows:
- No person shall be a citizen of India or be deemed to be a citizen of India, if he has voluntarily acquired the citizenship of any foreign state.
- Every person who is or is deemed to be a citizen of India shall continue to be such citizen, subject to the provisions of any law made by Parliament.
- Parliament shall have the power to make any provision with respect to the acquisition and termination of citizenship and all other matters relating to citizenship.