File Copyright Online - File mutual Divorce in Delhi - Online Legal Advice - Lawyers in India

Citizenship In India: Understanding Rights, Obligations, and Domicile Under the Indian Constitution

Citizenship is the bond that exists between a person and a state, to which the person owes loyalty and is consequently entitled to the protection of that state. Citizenship denotes a position of freedom with related duties. Aliens and other noncitizens living in a country are not granted or only partially accorded certain rights, obligations, and responsibilities that apply only to citizens. In general, citizenship is a requirement for having full political rights, including the ability to vote and hold public office. Allegiance, taxes, and military duty are the typical obligations of citizenship.

The most privileged type of nationality is citizenship. This more general word refers to a range of interactions between a person and a state that don't always grant political rights but does imply other benefits, most notably protection abroad. It is the phrase used in international law to refer to any person who has a right to protection. Corporations, ships, and aircraft, for instance, all have a nationality, which serves to indicate their connection to a certain state.

Citizenship under the Indian Constitution:

The legal status of a person as a legitimate citizen of a state or as a member of a country is known as citizenship. The Indian Constitution's Articles 5 through 11 address the idea of citizenship. In order to fully enjoy any State in which a person enjoys civil and political rights, one must be a citizen of that State.

We first go over every citizenship-related article in the Indian Constitution.

Article 5: Citizenship at the commencement of Constitutions
This page discusses citizenship for those alive on January 26, 1950, the day the Constitution went into effect. Citizenship is granted to those who reside in Indian territory and meet the following criteria:
  1. A person who was born on Indian land; or
  2. Who's mother or father was born on Indian land; or
  3. Who has typically resided in India for not less than 5 years immediately before the Constitution's start date?
Pradeep Jain v. Union of India[1],
According to the Supreme Court, Article 5 only recognises one domicile in India: the domicile of India. The idea of state domicile is not recognised.

What is Domicile?

One of the key conditions for obtaining Indian citizenship is domicile in India. The Constitution does not, however, define the word "domicile." In plain English, a person's domicile is their permanent residence or the location of their intended indefinite stay.

How residence is different from domicile?

Residence, in contrast to domicile, denotes a merely physical fact, i.e., the act of residing in a certain location, whereas domicile requires the fulfilment of two conditions, i.e.
  • Residence.
  • Accompanied by the desire to stay in the location permanently.
Domicile therefore includes habitation. It encompasses more ideas.

Types of Domicile:

Basically, there are 2 different kinds of domicile, and they are as follows:

Domicile of Origin
This form of domicile relates to the place of birth of any individual. The baby's domicile will be considered to be the domicile of origin. A posthumous kid will have his or her domicile in the nation where his or her father resided at the time of the child's father's death. As a result, this type of domicile is granted by the legal system upon birth.

Domicile of Choice
Every independent person has the option to get the domicile of his or her choosing, provided that they meet the two requirements for the domicile. By physically relocating to a different nation with animus manendi[2], which is Latin for "state of mind having formed a fixed intent to make one's place of settlement or residence, a permanent home," one can obtain the domicile of one's choice.

How domicile is different from citizenship
Abdur Rahaman v. State[3].
It was upheld that domicile is distinct from citizenship. The individual may have a domicile but no nationality, or he or she may have both nationality and citizenship. Simply put, domicile denotes a link to the area rather than the communal membership that is the foundation of the concepts of citizenship and nationality.

Article 6: Citizenship of certain persons who have migrated from Pakistan
Anyone who migrated from Pakistan shall be an Indian citizen at the time the Constitution takes effect if:
  1. According to the Government of India Act of 1935, he or any of his parents or grandparents was born in India;
  2. (a) If such a person migrated before July 19th, 1948, and has lived in India regularly since his migration, either

    (b) If the person in question immigrated after July 19th, 1948, and was registered as an Indian citizen by an officer designated in that capacity by the government of the Dominion of India on an application made by the person in question to the officer prior to the start of the Constitution; provided, however, that no person shall be so registered unless he has been a resident of India for at least six months immediately prior to the date of his application.

Article 7: Citizenship of certain migrants to Pakistan
This article addresses the rights of those who left India and then immigrated to Pakistan after March 1, 1947.

State of Bihar vs. Kumar Amar Singh[4].
Facts: In this instance, a woman left her husband in India and traveled to Karachi in July 1948. She claimed that she travelled to Pakistan for medical treatment, however, this was refuted. In December 1948, she travelled to India once more after getting a temporary permit stating that she was a Pakistani national and had her place of residence there. In April 1949, after that temporary permit ran out, she returned to Pakistan. She attempted to obtain a permit to live permanently in India, but her attempts were unsuccessful.

Judgement: It was decided that even though her husband had remained in India, there could be no question that the lady had left the country after March 1, 1947. Migration before 26 January 1950, or between 1 March 1947 and 26 January 1950, is referred to in this article.

Article 8: Citizenship of certain persons of Indian origin residing outside India
This article discusses the rights of Indian nationals who live outside of India for employment, marriage, and educational reasons.

Article 9: Person voluntarily acquiring citizenship of a foreign state not to be citizens
People who freely become nationals of another nation are not considered Indian citizens.

State of U.P. v. Rehmatullah[5],
The Supreme Court ruled that the Central Government is permitted to take action against individuals who have obtained foreign citizenship, lost their Indian citizenship, but are still residing in the nation.

Article 10: Continuance of the rights of citizenship
Any individual who is deemed to be an Indian citizen by any of the provisions of this part must remain so and be bound by any laws passed by the Parliament.

Article 11: Parliament to regulate the right of citizenship by Law
The Parliament has the authority to establish legislation relating to citizenship, naturalisation, and immigrants under Entry 17, List VII, Schedule 7[6]. The major goal of this Article is to give Parliament unrestricted ability to enact any legislation regarding the acquisition, termination, etc. of citizenship, despite the fact that Part II contains some rules pertaining to citizenship. In order to execute this authority, parliament passed the Citizenship Act in 1955. The parts of this Act that deal with obtaining and losing citizenship are expanded upon. In addition, the Citizenship Act of 1955 underwent a number of revisions in the years 2003 and 2005 in order to incorporate the idea of Indian citizenship abroad.

Ebrahim Wazir v. State of Bombay[7],
The 1949 Influx from Pakistan Control Act's constitutionality was questioned. Because allowing the forced removal of an Indian citizen from India would be equivalent to destroying the right to citizenship granted by Part II of the Constitution, the Supreme Court ruled that Section 7 of this Act was excess vires of Parliament.

Citizenship Under The Citizenship Act, Of 1955

The Indian Citizenship Act of 1955 was passed by Parliament as a result of the exercise of the authority granted to it by Article 11 of the Constitution. This Act outlines the process for obtaining and losing Indian citizenship. The Citizenship (Amendment) Acts of 1986, 1992, 2003, 2005, 2015 and 2019 were enacted under Indian law.
  1. Sec- 3: Acquisition of citizenship by birth:
    Section 3 grants citizenship based on birth, with the crucial requirement that our births take place in India. First, this Section stated that anybody born in India between January 26, 1950, and July 1, 1987, automatically acquired Indian citizenship. It makes no difference if his or her parents are Indian or not. But only in 1987 did this occur.

    This requirement was altered by the Amendment Act of 1986 from 1 July 1987 to 3 December 2003, and it stated that a person must have been born in India and have had at least one Indian parent in order to become an Indian citizen. However, the issue was not resolved by this Act, and a new Amendment Act was adopted in 2003.

  2. Sec- 4: Acquisition of citizenship by Descent:
    According to Section 4, anyone born outside of India after 26 January 1950 may also obtain Indian citizenship through their ancestry; for example, if their father is an Indian citizen, they will also be granted Indian citizenship. However, this only applied up until December 10, 1992, at which point the Amendment Act of 1992, which addresses gender neutrality, came into being. It put an end to gender discrimination. After this modification, he or she could obtain Indian citizenship if either their mother or father is an Indian citizen.

    However, this was still only the third day of 2004. According to existing legislation, anyone born outside of India after December 3rd, 2004, will not be granted Indian citizenship in the same manner as before. Parents of that child should visit the Indian Consulate in that country within a year of the child's birth to register the child as an Indian citizen. Since their underage child is not now in possession of a passport from another nation, this law only applies to them. So only a very small number of persons could now become Indian citizens by birth or descent.

  3. Sec-5: Acquisition of Citizenship by Registration:
    A registration process that specifies some people's categories�has widened the scope of the Indian Citizenship process. It states that the relevant categories of people may register as Indian Citizens by submitting an application to the Central Government.

    People of Indian Origin (PIO) are persons whose birth, or that of their parents, occurred in British India, undivided India, or on Indian territory that was added after August 15, 1947, such as Sikkim and Pondicherry, which became parts of India after independence. They will be PIOs or people of Indian origin.

    PIO categories include:
    • Those who applied for registration after having lived in India for the previous seven years;
    • Persons living outside of India who are of Indian descent;
    • Those who have married Indian nationals;
    • Indian citizens' small children;
    • A citizen of the Republic of Ireland or any Commonwealth nation who is of legal age and capacity.

  4. Sec- 6: Acquisition of citizenship by Naturalization:
    The Central Government may, under the provisions of the Third Schedule, grant a certificate of naturalisation to any person of full age and capacity who applies in the prescribed manner and who is not an illegal immigrant if it is determined that the applicant is eligible for naturalisation.

    The requirements for naturalisation are as follows:
    1. He shouldn't be a subject of any nation that forbids Indians from becoming citizens;
    2. If he already has citizenship from another country, he must renounce it in order to obtain Indian citizenship;
    3. He has either lived in India or has held a government position for the 12 months prior to the application date;
    4. He must have lived in India for at least 11 years during the 14 years prior to these 12 months or have worked in government service for at least that long; He must also be of high moral character and possess a sufficient command of one of the languages listed in the Eighth Schedule;
    5. After that, he should intend to live in India if he has received the certificate of naturalisation.
    The Central government may waive all or any of the aforementioned requirements for naturalisation in the applicant's case if it determines that the applicant has made a distinguished contribution to science, philosophy, art, literature, world peace, or human progress in general.

  5. Sec- 7: Acquisition of citizenship by Incorporation of Territory:
    According to this clause, if any foreign territory joins India, the Indian government must specify which residents of that territory will be known as Indian citizens. For example, when Pondicherry joined India, the Indian government issued an order stating which residents would be eligible to become Indian citizens.

Modes of Losing Indian Citizenship
The Citizenship Act of 1955 also specifies the three ways in which Indian citizens, regardless of whether they were citizens at the time the Constitution was ratified or later, may lose their citizenship. Any one of the three possibilities�renunciation, termination, or deprivation�can occur.

Sec- 8: Renunciation of Citizenship
By making a declaration to that effect and having it registered, an Indian citizen who is of legal age and capacity may renounce his Indian citizenship. However, if such a declaration is made while India is fighting in a war, the registration will be delayed until the Central Government gives another order. Every minor kid of a man who renounces his citizenship loses his Indian citizenship. However, if the youngster notifies the government of his intention to do so within a year after turning 18, he may regain his Indian citizenship.

Sec- 9: Termination of Citizenship
A citizen of India loses their Indian citizenship if they voluntarily get the citizenship of another nation. This clause does not apply to an Indian citizen who willingly assumes the citizenship of another nation during the period of hostilities. If there is any doubt as to if, when, or how a person obtained citizenship in another nation, it must be resolved by the appropriate authorities and according to the procedures outlined in the rules.

Sec- 10: Deprivation of Citizenship
Deprivation is the forced revocation of Indian citizenship. An order of the Central Government may strip citizenship from an Indian citizen by naturalisation, registration, domicile, or residence if it is convinced that:
  • The citizen earned citizenship through deception, fabrication, or suppression of any significant fact;
  • The citizen has demonstrated disrespect to the Indian Constitution;
  • During a conflict, the citizen engaged in illicit trade or communication with the foe;
  • The citizen spent two years in prison in any nation within five years of registration or neutralisation;
  • The citizen has lived regularly outside of India for seven years at a time.

Generally Asked Questioned
How Can I Get Indian Citizenship?
Citizenship in India can be obtained through birth, ancestry, registration, or naturalisation. The Citizenship Act of 1955 specifies the requirements and the process for obtaining Indian citizenship. A foreigner (not an illegal immigrant) can become an Indian citizen by naturalising if they have been regularly residing in India for 12 years (during the twelve months immediately prior to the date of application and for 11 years total during the 14 years prior to the twelve months) and meet other requirements outlined in the Third Schedule to the Act.

What Categories Of Citizenship Are There In India?
Birth, descent, registration, and naturalisation are the four ways that Indian citizenship can be obtained, according to the Ministry of Home Affairs. Sections 3, 4, 5(1), and 5(4) of the Citizenship Act of 1955 list the relevant laws.

Does India Allow Double Citizenship?
According to the Indian Constitution, you cannot simultaneously possess Indian and foreign citizenship. The High-Level Committee on Indian Diaspora[10] recommended that Overseas Citizenship of India (OCI) be granted, and this decision was made by the Indian government.

Is There Any Punishment For Citizenship Violation?
Yes, depending on the gravity of the offence and the laws of the particular country, breaking citizenship rules can lead to a variety of penalties, including fines, jail time, citizenship revocation, or deportation.

As a result, in India, aliens are not granted the same fundamental rights as citizens, including those guaranteed by Articles 15, 16, 18(2), 19, and 29, which are considered to be fundamental rights that apply only to citizens and not to foreigners. Again, only citizens have the authority to occupy some important positions, including those of President (Article 58), Vice-President (Article 66), State Governor (Article 157), Judge of the High Court (Article 217), Judge of the Supreme Court (Article 124), Attorney General (Article 76), and Advocate General (Article 165). Additionally, only Indian citizens are permitted to vote.

  • Constitutional Law Of India By Dr J. N. Pandey Revised By Dr S. S. Srivastava Published By Central Law Agency
  1. AIR 1984 SC 142:
  2. Intention to remain.
  3. AIR 1964 Pat 384.
  4. AIR 1955 SC 282: (1966) 3SCR 706.
  5. AIR 1971 SC 1382.
  6. Indian Constitution.
  7. AIR 1952 SC 229.
  8. Substituted by the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2003
  9. Substituted by Act 6 of 2004, section 18, for twelve years (w.e.f. 3-12-2004)
  10. Migration.

Law Article in India

Ask A Lawyers

You May Like

Legal Question & Answers

Lawyers in India - Search By City

Copyright Filing
Online Copyright Registration


How To File For Mutual Divorce In Delhi


How To File For Mutual Divorce In Delhi Mutual Consent Divorce is the Simplest Way to Obtain a D...

Increased Age For Girls Marriage


It is hoped that the Prohibition of Child Marriage (Amendment) Bill, 2021, which intends to inc...

Facade of Social Media


One may very easily get absorbed in the lives of others as one scrolls through a Facebook news ...

Section 482 CrPc - Quashing Of FIR: Guid...


The Inherent power under Section 482 in The Code Of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (37th Chapter of t...

The Uniform Civil Code (UCC) in India: A...


The Uniform Civil Code (UCC) is a concept that proposes the unification of personal laws across...

Role Of Artificial Intelligence In Legal...


Artificial intelligence (AI) is revolutionizing various sectors of the economy, and the legal i...

Lawyers Registration
Lawyers Membership - Get Clients Online

File caveat In Supreme Court Instantly