Nepal | December 11, 2018

Province 2 lawmakers to press federal govt to address citizenship concerns

Ram Kumar Kamat

Kathmandu, December 4

Province 2 Assembly will soon send an all-party delegation to Kathmandu to meet the prime minister and line ministers to discuss citizenship issues and issues related to provincial government’s powers, including staff crunch and staff transfer without permission of provincial government.

PA member Manish Kumar Suman, who represents  the ruling Rastriya Janata Party-Nepal in the PA, said the business advisory committee of the PA recently decided to send an all-party delegation to Kathmandu to discuss pressing issues, including citizenship, with the PM and line ministers of the federal government.

Suman said the unanimous adoption of an urgent motion of public importance by the Province 2 Assembly yesterday calling on the federal government to address citizenship problems, particularly of the children of citizens by birth, would put moral pressure on the federal government.  “There are lakhs of children of citizens by birth who have not been able to get their citizenship for the last seven years,” he said.

He added that children of citizens by birth were being deprived of their fundamental rights such as enrolling in educational institutions, obtaining passports, taking up jobs at home and abroad, opening businesses and buying or selling property.

Advocate General of Province 2 Dipemdra Jha said the passage of yesterday’s motion by Province 2 Assembly on the citizenship issue would put moral pressure on the federal government to enact a new citizenship law soon.

According to Jha, Rule 73 of Province 2 Assembly authorises the PA to adopt a motion on those issues on which the province does not have its jurisdiction but the action or inaction of federal or local governments on those issues affects the public of Province 2.

Jha said Article 11 (3) of the new constitution clearly stipulated that children of citizens by birth were entitled to citizenship by descent, yet the district administration offices were not granting applicants citizenship.

Senior Advocate Surendra Kumar Mahto, however, said there was no constitutional or legal hurdle in granting citizenship to children of citizens by birth.

“Enactment of federal law may be necessary to grant naturalised citizenship, but there is no legal hurdle in granting citizenship to children of citizens by birth. District Administrative Officers are misinterpreting the constitutional and legal provisions to deny citizenship to children of citizens by birth,” he argued.

 


A version of this article appears in print on December 05, 2018 of The Himalayan Times.


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