The Delhi High Court on Thursday directed the Centre to decide on a plea filed by a man born in India, but neither granted Indian citizenship nor denied it by authorities, despite his repeated applications, since 2017.
A Single-Judge Bench of Justice Rekha Palli, hearing the matter through video-conferencing, issued notice to the Ministry of Home Affairs and Sub-Divisional Magistrate, Dwarka, New Delhi.
The Court has directed the Central Government to decide on the petitioner’s application for grant of citizenship of India under Section 5 (1) (c) of the Citizenship Act, 1955. Either accept or reject and give reasons for the same, said the Court.
Advocate Nidhi Raman, appearing for the Central Government, sought time to take instructions, so as to assist the court in a more comprehensive way.
The petitioner averred that due to inaction on part of the Sub Divisional Magistrate, he is not a citizen of any country, despite being born in India. He said he is unable to travel abroad because he has no passport and same is contrary to his fundamental rights guaranteed under Articles 21 and 14 of the Constitution of India.
According to petitioner Suraj Thapa, he was born in Nizamuddin, Delhi and has been resident of India ever since. He has completed his Secondary and Senior Secondary education from DAV Senior Secondary School, Nizamuddin East, New Delhi. He is an alumnus of Delhi University and International College of Financial Planning, New Delhi.
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The plea further stated that he is married to an Indian citizen and all his documents, such as Driving Licence, Aadhaar Card, Voter ID card and PAN Card have been made in India.
According to his plea, he has applied for grant of citizenship three times, two times in 2017 and one time in 2019, but has not received a single response from the Ministry of Home Affairs.
Furthermore, he stated that he has been paying his Income Taxes regularly, yet he is not a citizen of any country. This has caused grave and severe prejudice to his fundamental rights.
The next date for hearing is November 12.