Kathmandu, March 10
The State Affairs and Good Governance Committee of the federal Parliament today agreed to insert a new provision in the Nepal Citizenship Bill allowing citizens to get their personal details, including their date of birth on their citizenship certificate rectified for one time.
During the discussion on amending the Nepal Citizenship Act-2009, panel members decided to insert a new provision in the bill allowing Nepali citizens to get the details on their citizenship cards rectified for one time, if there are any errors, according to Prem Kumar Rai, secretary at the Ministry of Home Affairs.
The bill will come into force as law once the president authenticates it after endorsement by both the House of Representatives and the National Assembly. “There was no such provision in the Nepal Citizenship Act-2009,” Rai said. The one-time correction facility will be given to citizens on the basis of their documents such as school records or details registered with concerned local bodies. “The corrected details must be approved by the local authorities before citizenship certificates are submitted to the administrative office for correction,” said Rai.
Though a few members of the committee had earlier suggested giving a year’s time for people to get the errors on the citizenship certificate rectified , the panel today unanimously agreed that such facility should be given for one time, said lawmaker Nawaraj Silwal, who is also a member of the committee.
According to him, the one-time correction facility also aims to control the tendency among high-profile officials to change the details such as the date of birth to continue to hold office and enjoy perks and facilities. The new provision would also allow one-time opportunity to those who want to change their surnames. This would address the concerns of Dalits and indigenous nationalities, Silwal said. However, the panel has not taken any decision on some crucial issues like whether or not to grant citizenship by descent to those who have Nepali mother and foreign father. The panel has also not reached any conclusion regarding ‘others’ gender status.
A version of this article appears in print on March 11, 2019 of The Himalayan Times.