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Cabinet decides to grant dual citizenship
May 06, 2003 22:34 IST
The Union Cabinet on Tuesday night decided to grant dual citizenship to Indians living in the United States, the United Kingdom and six other countries.
"Indians living there will have to apply for dual citizenship and the government could grant it after due verification," Parliamentary Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj told reporters after a meeting of the Cabinet lasting over an hour.
They would not have the privilege of voting rights and would not be allowed to hold constitutional offices or jobs in three defence services, she said.
The six other countries are Australia, Canada, Finland, Ireland, the Netherlands and Italy, Swaraj said. A bill to this effect would be introduced during the current session of Parliament to amend the Citizenship Act, 1955, she said. The eight countries have been chosen as they already had dual citizenship laws and a large number of Indians are residing there, she said.
Swaraj said the Cabinet approved certain amendments to the Citizenship Act to incorporate new provisions, streamline and remove certain provisions that have become redundant in order to increase the efficacy of the Act. The amendments would also introduce overseas citizenship for persons of Indian origin belonging to specified countries and facilitate introduction of the scheme of issue of national identity cards to all Indian citizens, she said.
The Citizenship Act 1955 was among 109 central acts, which had been identified for a review by the Commission on Review of Administrative Laws constituted by the Central Government under the chairmanship of P C Jain in 1988, she said.
The broad issues addressed during the review undertaken by the Ministry of Home Affairs included how to make acquisition of Indian citizenship by registration or naturalisation more difficult and how to prevent refugees and illegal immigrants from becoming eligible for Indian citizenship, she said. How to exclude the children of certain categories of people from acquiring citizenship by virtue of birth in India and how to simplify the procedure to facilitate the re-acquisition of Indian citizenship by erstwhile citizens of independent India were among other issues, she added.
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