Doc’s recommendation must for ‘other gender’ to obtain citizenship

  • Blue Diamond Society says self-declaration is enough, no need for doctor’s recommendation

Kathmandu, March 19

Lawmakers of the parliamentary State Affairs and Good Governance Committee today concluded that an authorised doctor’s recommendation was required to obtain citizenship certificate for ‘other gender’ person, the third gender people. But that recommendation, which was submitted by the person will not be mentioned on the citizenship card.

The citizenship card will only have mention of the ‘other’ in the gender section. The recommendation from the authorised doctor will be kept in registration file. The proposal was brought by the Ministry of Home Affairs and the panel endorsed it anonymously.

Joint-secretary at the Ministry of Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs Laxmi Niraula explained that the Supreme Court verdict didn’t mention or direct the exact things required to give citizenship certificate for ‘other’ gender. “Yes, the court has directed to release citizenship to the other gender, but the verdict didn’t mention the exact process,” she said. “But the court has asked to form a committee to recommend on this issue. We need to see it, whether or not the committee came up with report.”

Lawmakers said that at least LGBT people should clear their gender on the registration file; otherwise there will be misuse of citizenship in the name of other gender.

However, talking to THT, Chair of Blue Diamond Society Pinky Gurung, said self-declaration should be enough to obtain citizenship for LGBT people, there should not be need for any doctor’s recommendation. The provision will curtail the rights of LGBT people, said Gurung.

Gurung said that provision of medical report was against the right granted by the constitution. “It is not possible to get medical report while obtaining citizenship card. Getting medical treatment to get citizenship will be expensive,” she said, adding, it would take around Rs 15 to 20 lakh, which was not possible for a normal person to spend.

She said the third gender’s right should not be violated. “We have met lawmakers who were involved in the law making process and briefed them about our problems,” she said, adding that she thought they didn’t want to give right to third gender people because if they were given their rights, more people would declare themselves third gender and state would have to give more rights to them as well.

The panel today also concluded that people could make corrections in their citizenship card within a year after obtaining it after this bill was enacted. Those who have already obtained citizenship card can make corrections within one year after enactment of this bill. In both cases, there should be proof for making correction in the citizenship card. The meeting also agreed to add pseudonyms on the citizenship card through consensus.