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Delhi HC Raps Centre Over Denial of Indian Passport to Minor Girl After Father Gets British Citizenship

The petition also challenges section 8(2) of the Citizenship Act on the basis of which the government had held that she was no longer an Indian citizen.

PTI

Updated:October 29, 2019, 5:05 PM IST
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Delhi HC Raps Centre Over Denial of Indian Passport to Minor Girl After Father Gets British Citizenship
File photo of Delhi High Court (Picture courtesy: Getty Images)

New Delhi: The Delhi High Court has sought the Centre's response on a minor girl's plea for an Indian passport which was denied to her by the government as her father had acquired British citizenship.

A bench of Chief Justice D N Patel and Justice C Hari Shankar issued notices to the ministries of Home Affairs, External Affairs and Law seeking their response to the plea challenging the government's February 20 decision declining to renew her Indian passport which expired in 2017.

The petition also challenges section 8(2) of the Citizenship Act on the basis of which the government had held that she was no longer an Indian citizen.

The central government, represented by its standing counsel Manish Mohan, told the court that the girl's request for passport renewal was denied as her mother passed away in 2010 and her father, practising medicine in the United Kingdom, had in 2017 acquired British citizenship, therefore, she ceased to be an Indian citizen according to section 8(2) of the Citizenship Act.

Under the Act, when a person ceases to be a citizen of India by renouncing it, every minor child of that person shall thereupon cease to be a citizen of India.

However, the Act also provides that if within one year of attaining majority, the child makes a declaration that he/she wishes to resume Indian citizenship, he/she shall thereupon again become a citizen of India.

The court asked the government to indicate its stand on the affidavit and listed the matter for further hearing on November 20.

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