Nepal | August 12, 2020

‘Law for foreign women married to Nepali men shouldn’t end’

• Naturalised citizenship

Himalayan News Service
Share Now:

Kathmandu, August 28

The State Affairs and Good Governance Committee of the House of Representatives is divided on whether or not to end the provision granting naturalised citizenship to foreign women married to Nepali men immediately after marriage by introducing a waiting period of seven years in the bill.

Jurists say departure from the provision could restrict citizens’ fundamental right and adversely affect cultural relations between the people of Nepal and India.

Rastriya Janata Party-Nepal lawmaker Laxman Lal Karna, also a senior advocate, said some people were citing the case of Indian citizenship Act to argue in favour of introducing a seven-year waiting period, but in India there was no provision of citizenship as such.

“Nepali women married to Indian citizens immediately get all the documents enabling them to enjoy their rights as bonafide citizens. However, in Nepal, without citizenship certificate, people can’t get driving licence, open bank accounts or apply for government jobs,” Karna said, adding that as per the Nepal-India Treaty of Peace and Friendship, Nepali nationals can easily buy property in India, but Indian citizens don’t have that right in Nepal. “If Indian women have to wait for seven years to get Nepali citizenship, who will want to marry Nepali men?” Karna said the argument advocating restriction was aimed at spoiling centuries old cultural relations.

Former Supreme Court justice Girish Chandra Lal said the case of foreign women marrying Nepali men should be treated differently as they sacrifice everything for their husbands’.

“No country can prohibit citizens from marrying foreigners because the right to marry a person of choice is a fundamental right,” Lal argued. He said even foreign men married to Nepali women should be entitled to Nepali citizenship if they live in Nepal with their spouses.

Senior Advocate Dinesh Tripathi said under the Convention on Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women, Universal Declaration of Human Rights and International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, a woman has the right to marry a person of her choice irrespective of nationality. The spirit of international law is that legal obstacles should not be created to discourage women from marrying persons of different nationality and culture,’ he argued. “Under international law, the right of family union is an important fundamental right and our lawmakers should keep this in mind when they debate the citizenship bill,” he added

Tripathi said the new citizenship bill should not incorporate burdensome provisions on citizenship. He said if gender equality had to be maintained, then foreign men marrying Nepali women should also get naturalised Nepali citizenship immediately as is the case with foreign women married to Nepali men.

It’s a long tradition in our law that foreign women married to Nepali men get naturalised Nepali citizenship immediately after marriage, but it’s not logical to argue that in order to strike gender balance, foreign women marrying Nepali men should also be made to wait for years to obtain Nepali citizenship. “It’s illogical to deprive foreign women marrying Nepali men from obtaining Nepali citizenship immediately,” he argued.

Advocate Sunil Ranjan Singh also said there were very few foreign men marrying Nepali women, but in the border areas it was common for men and women to have marital relations across the border.

Foreign women married to Nepali men leave their maternal house to become part of their husbands’ families and hence they should not be made to wait for years to obtain naturalised citizenship.

A version of this article appears in print on August 29, 2019 of The Himalayan Times.

Follow The Himalayan Times on Twitter and Facebook

Recommended Stories:

More from The Himalayan Times:

Ganges River flows with history and prophecy for India

ALONG THE GANGES: More than 2,000 years ago, a powerful king built a fort on the banks of India’s holiest river, on the fringes of what is now a vast industrial city. Today, little of the ancient construction remains, except for mounds of rubble that tannery workers pick through for bricks to b Read More...

Trump abruptly escorted from briefing after shooting near WH

WASHINGTON: President Donald Trump was abruptly escorted by a US Secret Service agent out of the White House briefing room as he was beginning a coronavirus briefing Monday afternoon. He returned minutes later, saying there had been a “shooting” outside the White House that was “under control. Read More...

Digitised interventions for social inclusion: Adapting to the unwelcomed crisis

Last year, two world-class wheelchair basketball coaches visited Nepal to conduct an intensive sports training aimed at raising the level of sports in the country. The training brought together more than 40 female and male wheelchair basketball players in Kathmandu - athletes and citizens living wit Read More...

Balkhu jeep, leaving kathmandu

Public transportation sector most affected by lockdown: Transport Entrepreneurs

KATHMANDU: The plan to allow resumption of long-distance public transportation from August 17 across the country has again been cancelled. The Cabinet meeting held on Monday decided to resume flight operations from September 1 citing worsening situation due to surge in the number of COVID-19 case Read More...

Dortmund's Sancho to stay until 2023: club

BERLIN: Borussia Dortmund winger Jadon Sancho left with his team for a pre-season training camp in Switzerland on Monday with the German club saying the talented player would stay after a contract extension to 2023. Sancho has been the target of several top clubs with ongoing speculation of a Read More...

Kathmandu University, KU

Kathmandu University closed for 15 days from today

KATHMANDU: The Dhulikhel-based Kathmandu University (KU) has decided to shut down for the next 15 days starting today, owing to the growing risk of coronavirus infection. Issuing a notice on Monday, University registrar Prof Dr Subodh Sharma said all services (except most essential services Read More...

ICC Cricket World Cup Semi Final - India v New Zealand

New Zealand promises bumper international summer schedule

WELLINGTON: West Indies, Pakistan, Australia and Bangladesh have all confirmed they will tour New Zealand during the southern hemisphere summer, New Zealand Cricket (NZC) chief executive David White said on Tuesday. Under the International Cricket Council's Future Tours Programme, West Indies Read More...

Coronavirus , vaccines, vaccines trails

Russia becomes first country to approve a COVID-19 vaccine, says Putin

Russia approves a vaccine before other countries Putin says own daughter was vaccinated Says he hopes mass production will start soon Experts have raised safety concerns MOSCOW: Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Tuesday that Russia had become the first country in the world t Read More...