LOSS OF INDIAN CITIZENSHIP
The Citizenship Act, 1955, prescribes three ways of losing citizenship whether acquired under the Act or prior to it under the Constitution, viz renunciation, termination and deprivation.
When an Indian citizen on acquiring the citizenship of another country voluntarily surrenders his or her Indian citizenship, it can be termed as Renunciation. Government of India may or may not accept the request.
When a person renounces his Indian citizenship, every minor child of that person also loses Indian citizenship. However, when such a child attains the age of eighteen, he may resume Indian citizenship.
When an Indian citizen acquires the citizenship of another country but does not voluntarily surrenders the citizenship of India, his citizenship can be terminated. This provision does not apply during a war in which India is engaged.
A citizen of India may be deprived of his Indian citizenship by an order of the Central Government if the Government is satisfied that:
- The Registration or certificate of Naturalization was obtained by means of fraud representation or concealment of any material fact.
- He or she during a war in which India may be engaged unlawfully carried on trade or communicated with the enemy; or
- Within five years of his registration or Naturalization he has been sentenced to imprisonment for not less than two years; or
- He has been ordinarily residing out of India continuously for seven years and during that period he has neither been at any time a student of an educational institution nor in the service of government of India or of any international organization of which India is a member, nor registered annually in the prescribed manner at an Indian consulate his intention to retain his Indian citizenship.
RIGHTS EXCLUSIVELY ENJOYED BY THE CITIZENS
The following rights are exclusively enjoyed by the citizens of India:
- Article15: Right against discrimination.
- Article16: Equality of opportunity in public employment.
- Article 19(1): Six democratic freedoms:
- Right to freedom of speech and expression.
- Right to association
- Right to assemble
- Right to move freely throughout the territory of India
- Right to reside and settle down in any part of the country
- Right to an occupation, trade or profession.
- Articles 29 and 30:- Cultural and Educational rights
- Article 326:- Right to vote.
- Right to hold Constitutional offices such as that of the President, the Vice President, Judges of the Supreme Court and High Courts, Comptroller and Auditor General, members of the Election Commission.
PERSONS OF INDIAN ORIGIN/OVERSEAS CITIZENSHIP OF INDIA:
PERSONS OF INDIAN ORIGIN (PIO): A person shall be deemed to be PIO if he or either of his parents was born in undivided India or any such territory which became part of India after August 15, 1947.
OVERSEAS CITIZENSHIP OF INDIA (OCI): It is given to the people of Indian origin (PIO) residing in 16 countries.
These countries are: Australia, Canada, Finland, France, Greece, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Netherlands, New-Zealand, Portugal, Cyprus, Sweden, Switzerland, UK and USA.
A person who possess OCI card is entitled to certain rights and privileges such as:
- He does not have to register himself in the Foreign Registration Officer each time he visit the country for less than 180 days.
- Does not require visa to visit India
- Can buy and sell property in India except for agricultural and plantation land.
- Can do business in India
- Can open bank accounts
- Can give loans to Indian citizens
Though person with OCI card has many privileges but he is not treated at par with Indian citizen
- He does not have the right to vote
- Does not have any right to stand for elections of Lok Sabha, Rajya Sabha, and Constitutional posts such as post of President, Vice President, and Judge of Supreme Court/ High Court etc.
- Cannot visit restricted areas without permission
- Cannot take research work in India without the permission of Central Government.
National Register of Citizens (NRC):
It is the register containing names of Indian Citizens. The only time that a (NRC) was prepared was in 1951. After conduct of the Census of 1951, the NRC was prepared by recording particulars of all the persons enumerated during that Census.
Presently, NRC updation process is being carried out in Assam to include the names of those persons (or their descendants) who appear in the NRC 1951, or in any of the Electoral Rolls up to the midnight of March 24, 1971 or in any one of the other admissible documents issued upto mid-night of March 24, 1971, which would prove their presence in Assam or in any part of India on or before March 24, 1971.
Proposed Citizenship Amendment Bill
The bill seeks to amend the Citizenship Act, 1955, and grant citizenship to Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, Parsi and Christian immigrants from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan who have illegally migrated into India. The immigrants must have resided in India in the last one year and for at least six years in total to qualify for citizenship.
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