Citizenship is the legal relationship between the state and its population. It confers civil and political rights upon the people who compose the State.
The Constitution of India in part II, under Art. 5 to 11, deals with the provisions of citizenship.
The Constitution of India provided for single Indian citizenship.
The Constitution of India did not lay down permanent or comprehensive law relating to citizenship in India. Instead, it simply described the classes of persons who would be deemed to be the citizens of India at the date of the commencement of the Constitution and left the entire laws of citizenship to be regulated by the Parliament.
Indian Citizenship Act, 1955 was passed by the Union Parliament which contains elaborate provisions for the acquisition and termination of citizenship subsequent to the commencement of the Constitution.
On January 26, 1950, following classes of persons became citizens under Article 5 to 8.
- Art. 5(a) – A person born, and domiciled in India.
- Art. 5(b) – A person domiciled in the territory of India, either one of whose parents was born in the territory of India, irrespective of the nationality of his parents or the place of birth of such a person.
- Art. 5(c) – A person who himself or whose father or mother was not born in India, but who had his domicile in the territory of India and had been ordinarily residing within the territory of India for not less than 5 years immediately preceding the commencement of the Constitution.
- Art. 6 – A person who had migrated from Pakistan.
- Art 7 – A person who migrated from India to Pakistan after 1st March 1947, but had subsequently returned to India under a permit issued under the authority of the Government of India for resettlement or permanent return.
- Art. 8 – A person who himself or any of whose parents or grandparents was born in ‘India’ as defined in the Government of India Act, 1935, and who is ordinarily residing in any country outside India (whether before or after the commencement of this Constitution), on application in the prescribed form, to the Consular or Diplomatic representative of India in the country of his residence.
The Indian Citizenship Act, 1955 was amended in 1986 to check the clandestine influx of persons from Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, and other African Countries.
Must Read: Indian Citizenship
Following changes were made –
- Citizenship of India by birth can be acquired by a person only if either of his parents is a citizen of India at the time of his birth.
- Minimum time required for registration has been increased from six months to five years.
- Women marrying Indian citizens must have been the resident of India for five years before making an application.