Supreme Court issues show cause notice in favour of petitioner in citizenship case

Kathmandu, February 9

The Supreme Court today issued an interim order to the government telling it not to deprive Arjun Sah, a resident of Mahottari district, to open bank accounts, enrol in educational institutions and exercise his rights that all other citizens are entitled to.

A single bench of Justice Sarada Prasad Ghimire of the Supreme Court issued an order to the government in response to a writ petition filed by Sah. The bench said that it was issuing interim order as not doing so would cause an irreparable loss to the petitioner.

The apex court also issued a show cause notice to the defendants. The defendants will have to furnish their written replies within 15 days.

Sah had filed a writ petition yesterday saying his mother was a Nepali national and since he was born in Nepal and went to school in Nepal as a domicile of Nepal, he should get naturalised citizenship but when he went to get a recommendation letter from Matihani Ward Office-8, the officers refused to issue him a recommendation letter, saying a new law had not been enacted to address the problems of people like him.

He said he had not been able to exercise his constitutional and legal rights due to lack of citizenship certificate. He said he went to  Rastriya Banijya Bank, Jaleshwar on February 5 to open a bank account but the bank  turned down his request due to lack of citizenship certificate.

He said his father had been living in Nepal for 38 years but did not have citizenship of any country. He cited Article 11 (5) of the constitution whereby the citizenship of   a child born to a Nepali mother will be converted to naturalised citizenship if his/her father is found to be a foreigner.

According to petitioner’s attorney Sunil Kumar Chauhan, the petitioner has demanded that a writ of mandamus be issued to Parliament telling it to enact new laws and regulation to help people get citizenships without any legal hassles. The petitioner also urged the court to issue an interim order in his favour until the final hearing of the case.

Advocate Dipendra Jha and former Attorney General Hari Phuyal pleaded on behalf of the petitioner. The petitioner has named the Office of the Prime Minister and Council of Minister, Ministry of Home Affairs and District Administration Office, Mahottari the defendants, among others.