Govt gears up for citizenship law draft

- Post Report, Kathmandu

Feb 2, 2016-

The Law Ministry plans to come up with a citizenship law in line with the new constitution.

According to Leela Gadtaula, joint-secretary at the ministry, the Law and Home ministries plan to prepare the draft law within two months. “New laws should ensure that people who follow the legal procedure are not left behind. Rather than talk about who does and does not get the citizenship card, we have to set up a strong legal mechanism and ensure that citizens are not deprived of it,” said Gadtaula, in reply to rights activists who claim that the current citizenship provisions discriminate children of a Nepali woman with her foreign spouse. 

Gadtaula, however, gave no details about the legislation. The citizenship law requires a woman to prove that the whereabouts of her husband are unknown to pass on citizenship to her child, while the provision is silent on the case of single male parent.

About two weeks ago, Home Minister Shakti Basnet promised that he would issue circulars to the respective offices to issue citizenship certificates in the spirit of the new constitution. He had met youths who were unable to get citizenship despite the constitutional guarantee that a child born to either a Nepali father ‘or’ mother is eligible for citizenship by descent.

Published: 02-02-2016 08:27

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