Nepal | July 12, 2020

Citizenship relief for children of citizens by birth

District administrative offices told to grant them citizenship by descent

Roshan S Nepal
Share Now:

This undated image shows the premises of the Ministry of Home Affairs in Singha Durbar, Kathmandu. Photo: Google maps image

Kathmandu, April 3

The Ministry of Home Affairs has issued a circular to all 77 district administration offices to issue citizenship by descent to children of people who have acquired citizenship by birth.

The ministry issued the circular yesterday as per ministerial-level decision more than three years after the constitution guaranteed the right to citizenship by descent to children of those who have acquired citizenship by birth.

The constitution’s Article 11 (3) reads, “A child of a citizen having obtained the citizenship of Nepal by birth prior to the commencement of constitution shall, upon attaining adulthood, acquire the citizenship of Nepal by descent if the child’s father and mother both are citizens of Nepal.”

In the circular, the ministry said it took the decision considering the constitutional provision, the fact that the bill to amend the Citizenship Act was still under discussion in the Parliament, verdicts of the Supreme Court and high courts and hardship faced by such individuals in terms of pursuing education and career development for not having citizenship.

The ministry told the DAOs to issue citizenship by descent to individuals applying for the same attaching citizenship of their father and mother as per the Citizenship Act, Citizenship Rules, and Citizenship Certificate Distribution Manual.

Civil rights activists welcomed the ministry’s move.

Advocate Dipendra Jha welcomed the ministry’s ‘progressive decision’, but added it should have come four years ago because children of people acquiring citizenship by birth had been facing a lot of troubles, such as not being able to enrol in schools and colleges. “It is an irony that the implementation of a constitutional provision requires a circular from the home ministry,” he added.

Executive Director of Forum for Women, Law and Development Sabin Shrestha said although there was no doubt that children of people acquiring citizenship by birth should be issued citizenship given all the hardships they faced, it would have been better had the government done it following the due process of making such provision in the Citizenship Act and rules.

Shrestha said the ministry’s move in a way bypassed the Parliament because the bill to amend the Citizenship Act that contradicted the constitution was still under discussion in the Parliament.

“On what basis the DAOs will issue the citizenship?” he wondered. “Is it that the DAOs should issue the citizenship, guaranteed by the constitution, on the basis of a ministry’s circular even as the act does not have such a provision?”

Tarai Human Rights Defenders Alliance stated that the circular did not address all the concerns related to citizenship as it did not mention anything about citizenship through mother. It pressed for amendment to the act to address its concerns, adding that the government should get the amendment bill endorsed by the Parliament at the earliest.


A version of this article appears in print on April 04, 2019 of The Himalayan Times.


Follow The Himalayan Times on Twitter and Facebook

Recommended Stories:

More from The Himalayan Times:

Tarai districts at risk of floods after heavy rainfall in hilly region

RAUTAHAT: Tarai districts are at a high risk of floods as water level has risen alarmingly after incessant rainfall in hilly and Chure region in recent days. Locals residing on the banks of Bagmati and Lalbakiya rivers in Rautahat and Sarlahi districts have been living in terror of floods as Read More...

NHRC chief draws flak for condemning Mohna Ansari

KATHMANDU, JULY 10 National Human Rights Commission Chairman Anup Raj Sharma has drawn flak for issuing a press release condemning NHRC member Mohna Ansari for criticising Samajwadi Party-Nepal’s decision to expel Sarita Giri from both the party and the House of Representatives. Sharma h Read More...

Commission on the investigation of Enforced Disappeared Persons

Conflict victims lament govt’s apathy in their joint submission

KATHMANDU, JULY 10 Various victim groups of Nepal have made a joint submission to the 37th Session of the Working Group on Universal Periodic Review of the United Nations Human Rights Council, drawing its attention to the Government of Nepal’s persistent failure to deliver truth, justice, repar Read More...

Gaindakot, Nawalparasi

East-West Highway obstructed as flood sweeps diversion in Nawalpur

KATHMANDU: The East-West Highway has been obstructed since a diversion was washed away by a flash flood at Gaindakot section in Nawalparasi (East) district. It has been learnt that the vehicular movement along the highway came to halt after the flooded rivulet in Thumsi swept away the culvert o Read More...

Nepal Communist Party (NCP) standing committee meet put off for a week

KATHMANDU, JULY 10 The ruling Nepal Communist Party (NCP) has postponed its Standing Committee meeting for a week. NCP Spokesperson Narayan Kaji Shrestha wrote on his Twitter handle that the party took the decision to postpone its Standing Committee meeting to enable the party’s rank and fil Read More...

‘Regulate particular content, media, not entire industry’

KATHMANDU, JULY 10 Freedom Forum, a civil society organisation, issued a press release condemning cable operators’ decision to halt broadcast of Indian news channels, except Doordarshan, over misleading and defamatory content about Nepal. Freedom Forum said service providers and media carrie Read More...

Jada and Will Smith reveal marriage trouble on Facebook show

LOS ANGELES: With their marriage under social-media scrutiny, Jada Pinkett Smith and Will Smith reaffirmed their commitment to each other as Pinkett Smith admitted to having a relationship with musician August Alsina when she and Smith were separated. In a one-on-one conversation Friday on Pinke Read More...

Amazon says email to employees banning TikTok was a mistake

Roughly five hours after an internal email went out Friday to Amazon employees telling them to delete the popular video app TikTok from their phones, the online retailing giant appeared to backtrack, calling the ban a mistake. “This morning’s email to some of our employees was sent in error," Read More...