Constitution of India – Citizenship

Prepared by Assist. Professor

Constitution of India

Part – II Citizenship

Meaning of Citizenship –

 A citizen is the person who enjoys full civil and political rights. The person who can’t enjoy full civil and political right are called aliens.

The following fundamental rights are available only for citizen:
  • Right not to be discriminated against any Citizen on Grounds of religion, race, caste, sex and place of birth (Article 15).
  •  The right to equality of opportunity in the matter of public employment (Article 16)
  • The right to six  freedoms enumerated in Article 19, freedom of speech, expression, assembly, association, movement,  residence, profession.
  • Cultural and educational rights conferred by Articles 29 and 30.
  • There are certain offices under the constitution which can be occupied by citizens only e.g., office of the President, Vice President, Judges of the Supreme Court or of a High Court, Attorney- General, Governor of a State  and Advocate General of State.
  • The right to vote for election to the House of the People and the legislative Assemblies of States is available to the citizens only and only they can become members of the Union and State legislatures.

 The rights guaranteed by Article 14 and 21 are available to Alein too.

Indian Constitution- Part II (Articles 5-11) deals with Indian citizenship. Article 5 deals with Indian citizenship at the commencement of the Constitution (November 26, 1949).
Article 11 empowers Parliament of  India to make laws for such matters (Citizenship). In exercise of its power  the Citizenship Act was enacted by Parliament in 1955.

At the commencement of the Constitution, the following persons shall be citizens of India under Articles 5 – 8 of the Constitution of India.

  1. Citizenship by domicile ( Article 5).
  2. Citizenship of emigrants from Pakistan ( Article 6).
  3. Citizenship of migrants to Pakishtan ( Article 7).
  4. Citizenship of Indians abroad ( Article 8).

1. Citizenship by domicile ( Article 5).

Article.-5 Citizenship by domicile at the commencement of the Constitution:

According to Article 5 at the commencement of this Constitution, every person who has his domicile in the territory of India and-

  1. who was born in the territory of India; or
  2. either of whose parents was born in the territory of India; or
  3. who has been ordinarily resident in territory of India for not less than five years immediately before the commencement of the Constitution, shall be a citizen of India.

Note : Two elements are necessary for the existence of domicile-

  • A residence of a particular kind, and
  • An Intention of a Particular kind.

Case Law relating to Citizenship by Domicile

2. Citizenship of emigrants from Pakistan ( Article 6).

Article 6. Rights of citizenship of certain persons who have migrated to India from Pakistan.

Persons who have migrated from Pakistan to India have been divided in two categories for the purpose of citizenship-

  1. Those who came to India before July 19, 1948 and
  2. Those who came on or after July 19, 1948.

Article 6 states that a person who has migrated to the India from the Pakistan shall be a citizen of India at the commencement of the Constitution on 26th January, 1950 if he or either of his parents or any of his grand-parents were born in undivided India and-

  1. In the case where he migrated to India before July 19, 1948 and he has been ordinarily residing  in India since the date of his migration, or
  2. In the case where he migrated on or after July 19, 1948 and he has been registered as a citizen of India.
(by an officer appointed by the Government of India on an application made by him in the form and manner prescribed by that Government for the purpose.)

But There is need to reside in India for at least six months immediately before the date of his application for registration.

Note – Undivided India means – India defined in the Government of India Act, 1935 (as originally enacted);         
     The Date of July 19, 1948 means – ( The date on which the permit system for such migration was introduced)

3. Citizenship of migrants to Pakishtan ( Article 7).

Article .- 7 Rights of citizenship of certain migrants to Pakistan-

According to Article 7 A citizen by domicile (Article 5) or by migration (Article 6) shall not be deemed to be a citizen of India if he has migrated to Pakistan after March 1 1947.

But a person who has returned to India on the basis of permit for resettlement in India.if he fulfils other all conditions urgent  for emigrants from Pakistan after July 19, 1948, under Article 6. He can register himself as citizen of India.

( in the same manner as a person migrating from Pakistan after July 19, 1948.)

Case relating to Rights of citizenship of certain migrants to Pakistan-

4. Citizenship of Indians abroad ( Article 8).

Article. 8 Rights of citizenship of certain persons of Indian origin residing outside India

Article 8 states that, any person who or either of whose parents or any of whose grand-parents 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, 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 countrywhere he is for the time being residing on an application made by him to such diplomatic or consular representative, whether before or after the commencement of the Constitution ( 26th January,1950) in the form and manner prescribed by the Government of the Dominion of India or the Government of India.

In Short According to Article 8 any person who or either of whose parents or any of whose grand-parents was born in undivided India may be Indians if they register themselves as a citizen of India by the Diplomatic or Consular representative of India in the country where he is for the time being residing.

Article. – 9 Persons voluntarily acquiring citizenship of a foreign State not to be citizens-

Article 9 states that  If a person voluntarily acquires the citizenship of any foreign State he shall not be a citizen of India under Article 5,6 and 8.

Article.- 10 Continuance of the rights of citizenship

Article 10 states that every person who is or is deemed to be a citizen of India under any of the foregoing provisions of this Part, shall continue to be a citizen of India subject to the provisions of any law that may be made by Parliament.

Article. – 11 Parliament to regulate the right of citizenship by law

Article 11 empowers  Parliament to make any provision with respect to the acquisition and termination of citizenship and all other matters relating to citizenship.

Case In Ebrahim Wazir v. State of Bombay, AIR 1952 SC 229

The Supreme Court held that the right of citizenship could only be taken away by recourse to Article 11 of the Constitution. Thus in absence of any express law made for a different purpose.

Article 10 & 11 confers plenary power to Parliament

Plz. click the link to read Citizenship Act 1955 ( Acquisition and Termination of Citizenship of India) & Citizenship Amendment Acts

Study Material for Law

Indian Penal Code

Law of Torts

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