Supreme Court Issues Notice to Centre on Challenge to Citizenship Act Provisions

New Delhi, October 24

In a significant development, the Supreme Court on October 23, 2023, issued notice to the Central Government on a petition challenging the validity of certain provisions of the Citizenship Act, 1955, that provide for automatic termination of Indian citizenship upon acquisition of citizenship of another country.

The petition, filed by London School of Economics (LSE) professor Tarunabh Khaitan, argues that these provisions violate the fundamental rights under Articles 14, 19, and 21 of the Constitution of India.

Khaitan, whose wife is a British citizen, points out that Section 4(1) and Section 4(1)A of the Citizenship Act require his future children to choose between their Indian citizenship by descent and their British citizenship by birth descent. He argues that this is an unfair and arbitrary distinction that violates the child’s right to equality and the right to choose their own nationality.

Khaitan also argues that the automatic termination of Indian citizenship for acquiring the citizenship of another country is disproportionate and unreasonable. He points out that the Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) status, which is granted to former Indian citizens, does not offer the same benefits and rights as citizenship.

The Supreme Court has issued notice to the Central Government and asked it to respond to the petition within four weeks.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *