Renunciation of Indian Citizenship Simplified | 06 Oct 2021

Why in News

The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has simplified the process for Indians who want to renounce their citizenship.

Key Points

  • About:
    • Provisions have been made for applicants to upload documents online, with an upper limit of 60 days for the renunciation process to be completed.
    • Over 6.7 lakh Indians renounced their citizenship between 2015-19.
    • In 2018, MHA included a column on “circumstances/reasons due to which applicant intends to acquire foreign citizenship and renounce Indian citizenship” (under the Citizenship Rules, 2009).
  • Citizenship:
    • Constitutional Provisions:
      • Citizenship is listed in the Union List under the Constitution and thus is under the exclusive jurisdiction of Parliament.
      • The Constitution does not define the term ‘citizen’ but details of various categories of persons who are entitled to citizenship are given in Part 2 (Articles 5 to 11).
        • Unlike other provisions of the Constitution, which came into being on 26th January, 1950, these articles were enforced on 26th November, 1949 itself, when the Constitution was adopted.
    • Acquisition of Indian Citizenship:
      • The Citizenship Act of 1955 prescribes five ways of acquiring citizenship, viz, birth, descent, registration, naturalisation and incorporation of territory.
    • Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019:
      • The Act amended the law to fast-track citizenship for religious minorities, specifically Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis and Christians, from Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan who entered India prior to 2015.
      • The requirement for them to stay in India for at least 11 years before applying for Indian citizenship has been reduced to five years (by naturalisation).
  • Ways to Renounce Citizenship in India:
    • Voluntary Renunciation:
      • If an Indian citizen wishes, who is of full age and capacity, he can relinquish citizenship of India by his will.
      • When a person relinquishes his citizenship, every minor child of that person also loses Indian citizenship. However, when such a child attains the age of 18, he may resume Indian citizenship.
    • By Termination:
      • The Constitution of India provides single citizenship. It means an Indian person can only be a citizen of one country at a time.
      • If a person takes the citizenship of another country, then his Indian citizenship ends automatically. However, this provision does not apply when India is busy in war.
    • Deprivation by Government:
      • The Government of India may terminate the citizenship of an Indian citizen if;
        • The citizen has disrespected the Constitution.
        • Has obtained citizenship by fraud.
          The citizen has unlawfully traded or communicated with the enemy during a war.
        • Within 5 years of registration or naturalisation, a citizen has been sentenced to 2 years of imprisonment in any country.
        • The citizen has been living outside India for 7 years continuously.

Source: TH