Interim order not to implement government’s decision on citizenship

- TIKA R PRADHAN, Kathmandu

Apr 9, 2019-

The Supreme Court has issued an interim order to the government instructing not to implement the circular issued by the Home Ministry on April 2 allowing chief district officers across the country to issue citizenship by descent to the children whose parents are citizens by birth.

A single bench of Justice Purushottam Bhandari issued the interim order on Monday.

The court  has also issued an interlocutory interim order summoning the plaintiff and the defendants for discussion on the issue on April 16.

A writ petition was filed at the Supreme Court by advocate Balkrishna Neupane on Sunday against the Prime Minister’s Office and the Home Ministry for allowing citizenship by descent to the children of the parents having citizenship by birth.

Amid uncertainty surrounding the amendment to the Citizenship Act 2006, the Home Ministry had issued a circular to all 77 chief district officers across the country, telling them to grant citizenship by descent to those individuals whose parents are citizens by birth.

According to the Article 11(3) of the constitution, a child of a citizen having Nepali citizenship by birth shall acquire the citizenship of Nepal by descent if both mother and father are citizens of Nepal.

Despite the provision guaranteeing such individuals their right to citizenship by descent, the district offices had halted processing such applications, following the introduction of Citizenship Act 2006 Amendment Bill in Parliament last August.

“If a person whose parents are citizens by birth applies for citizenship, s/he is entitled to citizenship by descent as per Nepal Citizenship Act 2006, Nepal Citizenship Rules 2006 and Citizenship Certificate Distribution Procedure Directive 2006, and such individuals should be granted citizenship upon completing due procedure,” states the Home Ministry’s circular.

Citing reasons behind taking the minister-level decision, the ministry has said that children of individuals who obtained citizenship by birth had faced various hurdles in the past on the pretext of there not being clear legal provisions for them to receive citizenship and so they have restricted access to higher education, employment, and state services.

Published: 09-04-2019 08:03

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