Status of Indian citizen ship – Indian citizenship automatically get terminated u/s 9(1) of the Citizenship Act if a person acquires British Overseas citizenship – CIC: interpretations of Citizenship Act does not fall within the ambit of ‘information’
1. Shri Mohammed Shamsudeen Maricar, hereinafter called the complainant has filed the present complaint dated 3.11.2012 before the Commission against the respondent Ministry of Home Affairs, Foreigners Division, New Delhi for not providing satisfactory information in response to his RTI application dated 15.5.2012. The complainant was absent whereas the respondent were represented by Shri V. Vumlunmang, Joint Secretary/FAA.
2. The complainant through his RTI application dated 15.5.2012 sought to know about the status of his Indian citizen ship, as he born in India on 11.7.1969 as British Overseas Citizen and failed to renounce his foreign citizenship after attaining the age of 18 and he got British Overseas citizen passport in 2009. Now he has a doubt whether he is Indian or British national. The CPIO vide letter No., 26027/04/2011-IC.I dated 28.5.2012 informed the appellant that as per RTI Act, a public authority is not supposed to create information or to interpret information, or to solve the problems rose by the applicants or to furnish replies to hypothetical questions. Only such information can be had under the RTI Act which already exists with the public authority.
3. Aggrieved with the reply of the CPIO the complainant filed first appeal on 17.6.2012 before the FAA. The FAA vide his letter No. 26027/04/2011-IC.I dated 22.10.2012 informed the complainant that clarification/ confirmation sought by him did not come within the definition of ‘information’ under the RTI Act.
4. During the hearing the respondent FAA states that the complainant requires a certificate from MHA stating that he is not an Indian citizen so as to produce the same to the British authority in processing of his getting British citizenship. As per 3(1)(a) of the Citizenship Act, 1955, every person born in India or on after 26th day of January, 1950, but before the 1st day of July, 1987 shall be a citizen of India by birth provided he has not acquired any foreign passport after his birth. The Indian citizenship of such person automatically get terminated under section 9(1) of the Citizenship Act, 1955 in case he acquires foreign citizenship as the Constitution of India does not allow dual citizenship. In the instant case, the request of the complainant can be considered under section 3(1)(a) of the Citizenship Act, 1955 as he was born in India on 11.7.1969. As per the said section, he is Indian citizen by birth provided he has not acquired any foreign passport after his birth. His Indian citizenship automatically get terminated u/s 9(1) of the Act in case he acquires British Overseas citizenship as the Constitution of India does not allow dual citizenship. Further, it appears from the query of the complainant that he desires to examine his request under subsection (1A) of Section 4 of the Citizenship Act, 1955 which is not applicable in his case as he was not born outside India to Indian parents. Section 4 of the Citizenship Act, 1955 provide Indian citizenship by descent to a person born outside India to Indian parents. Further, Sub-Section 1(A) of Section 4 says that a minor who is a citizen of India by virtue of this section and is also a citizen of any other country shall cease to be a citizen of India, if he does not renounce the citizenship or nationality of another country within six months of attaining full age.
5. The Commission is of the view that the complainant sought interpretations/ clarifications in respect of Citizenship Act, which does not fall within the ambit of definition of ‘information’ as defined u/s 2(f) “information” means any material in any form, including records, documents, memos, e-mails, opinions, advices, press releases, circulars, orders, logbooks, contracts, reports, papers, samples, models, data material held in any electronic form and information relating to any private body which can be accessed by a public authority under any other law for the time being in force; of the RTI Act. The Commission finds no reason to interfere with the replies of the respondent. The matter is disposed of on the part of the Commission.
Citation: Shri Mohammed Shamsudeen Maricar v. Ministry of Home Affairs in Case No. CIC/SS/C/2012/000973