(TibetanReview.net, Sep09, 2017) – The Delhi High Court has on Aug 29 expressed anger over the fact that the passport office had ignored its previous orders on the right of Tibetans born in India between Jan 26, 1950 to Jun 30, 1987 to be treated as citizens by birth and therefore to be issued passports. Justice Vibhu Bakhru has also granted petitioner Karma Gyaltsen Neyratsang a cost of Rs 25,000 while rejecting the passport office’s contention, among other things which were also rejected, that he had concealed his parents’ Tibetan origin while applying for passport.
In citing this ground for revoking the petitioner’s passport, the passport office had referred to a circular issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs on Feb 23, 2012 which stated that children born to a Tibetan Refugee in India were not be treated as Indian citizen by birth, that all such persons would have to make a separate application for citizenship under relevant section of the Citizenship Act, 1955, before being eligible to apply for a passport.
Rejecting this contention, the High Court has said the passport office had “persisted in ignoring” the decision of a coordinate bench of the high court which had on Sep 22, 2016 ruled that persons of Tibetan origin born in India prior to Jul 1987 did not require separate citizenship applications.
The court has pointed out that there was no dispute that the petitioner and his since deceased twin brother were born in Darjeeling in 1965 and was therefore unquestionably a citizen by birth.