Kathmandu, April 8
The Supreme Court today stayed the implementation of the home ministry’s recent circular that ordered all 77 district administration offices to issue citizenship by descent to the children of citizens by birth. The SC passed the order acting on a writ petition filed by Senior Advocate Bal Krishna Neupane.
A single bench of Justice Purushottam Bhandari issued the stay order till April 16 when both sides will present their arguments. Neupane had sought an interim order saying that it was unlawful for the home ministry to issue the circular, as a citizenship bill was under consideration in the Parliament.
The ministry had issued the circular on April 2 as per the ministerial-level decision, more than three years after the constitution guaranteed the rights to citizenship by descent to the children of those who have acquired citizenship by birth. In some districts, DAOs had started issuing citizenship by decent to the children of citizens by birth.
The constitution allows the children of citizens by birth to obtain Nepali citizenship by descent, yet they have not been able to obtain their citizenship due to non-enactment of a new federal citizenship law. It’s been an agonising wait for the children of citizens by birth as they are unable to get enrolled in education institutions, open bank accounts, obtain driving licences and avail of formal sector employment opportunities due to lack of citizenship.
A version of this article appears in print on April 09, 2019 of The Himalayan Times.