In this article, we will discuss Citizenship Act 1955. So, let’s get started.
Citizenship Act 1955
The Citizenship Act(1955) provides for acquisition and loss of citizenship after the commencement of the Constitution. Originally, the Citizenship Act (1955) also provided for the Commonwealth Citizenship. But, this provision was repealed by the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2003.
Acquisition of citizenship
The Citizenship Act of 1955 prescribers five ways of acquiring citizenship, viz, birth, descent, registration, naturalisation and incorporation of territory:
- By birth
- A person born in India on or after January 26 1950 but before July 1, 1987 is a citizen of India by birth irrespective of the nationality of his parents.
- A person born in India on or after July 1, 1987 is considered as a citizen of India only if either of his parents is a citizen of India at the time of his birth.
- Further those born in India on or after December 3, 20004 are considered citizens of India only if both of their parents are citizens of India or one of whose parents is a citizen of India and the other is not an illegal migrant at the time of their birth.
- The children of foreign diplomats posted in India and enemy aliens cannot acquire Indian citizenship by birth.
A person born outside India on or atter January 26, 1950 but before December 10, 1992 is a citizen of India by descent, if his father was a citizen of India at the time of his birth.
A person born outside India on or after December 10, 1992 is considered as a citizen of India if either of his parents is a citizen of India at the time of his birth.
December 3, 2004 onwards, a person born outside India shall not be a citizen of India by descent, unless 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 said period. An application, for registration of the
birth of a minor child, to an Indian consulate shall be accompanied by an undertaking in writing from the parents of such minor child that he or she does not hold the passport of another country.
Further, a minor who is a citizen of India by virtue of descent and is also a citizen of any other country shall cease to be a citizen of India if he does not renounce the citizenship or nationality of another country within six months of his attaining full age.
- By Registration
- By Registration The Central Government may, on an application, register as a citizen of India any person (mot being an illegal migrant) if he belongs to any of the following categories, namely:
- (a) a person of Indian origin who is ordinarily resident ín India for seven years before making an application for registration;
- (b) a person of Indian origin who is ordinarily resident in any country or place outside undivided India;
- (c) a person who is married to a citizen of India and is ordinarily resident in India for seven years before making an application for registration;
- (d) that during the fourteen years immeately preceding the said period of twelve months, he has either resided in India or been in the service of a Government in India, or partly the one and partly the other, for periods amounting in the aggregate to not less than eleven years;
- (e) that he is of good character;
- (f) that he has an adequate knowledge of a language specified in the Eighth Schedule to the Constitution ; and
- (g) that in the event of a certificate of naturalisation being granted to him, he intends to reside in India, or to enter into or continue in, service under a Government in India or under an international organisation of which India is a member or under a society, company or body of persons established in India.
- However, the Government of India may waive all or any of the above conditions for naturalisation in the case of a person who has rendered distinguished service to the science, philosophy, art, literature, world peace or human progress. Every naturalised citizen must take an oath of allegiance to the Constitution of India.
By Incorporation of Territory
If any foreign territory becomes a part of India, the Government of India specifies the persons who among the people of the territory shall be the citizens of India, Such persons become tne citizens of India from the notified date. For example, when Pondicherry became a part of India, the Government of India issued the Citizenship (Pondicherry) Order (1962), under the Citizenship Act (1955).
- Special Provisions as to Citizenship of Persons Covered by the Assam Accord The Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 1985, added the following special provisions as to citizenship of persons covered by the Assam Accord (which related to the foreigners’ issue):
- (a) All persons of Indian origin who came to Assam before the January 1, 1966 from Bangladesh and who have been ordinarily residents in Assam since the date of their entry into Assam shall be deemed to be citizens of India as from the January 1, 1966.
- (b) Every person of Indian origin who came to Assam on or after the January 1,1966 but before the March 25, 1971 from Bangladesh and who has been ordinarily resident in Assam since the date of his entry into Assam and who has been detected to be a foreigner shall register himself. Such a registered person shall be deemed to be a citizen of India for all purposes as from the date of expiry of a period of ten years from the date of detection as a foreigner. But, in the intervening period of ten years, he shall have the same rights and obligations as a citizen of India, excepting the right to vote.