Third High Court in fourth case upholds Tibetans’ Indian citizenship status

Indian Passport
Indian Passport

(, Mar09, 2017) – In a fourth judgement of its kind by a third High Court, the High Court of Meghalaya at Shillong has ruled Mar 7 that children of Tibetan refugees born in India after Jan 26, 1950 and before Jul 1, 1987 are citizens by birth as provided under the country’s Citizenship Act, 1955. The court in the northeastern state of Meghalaya delivered its ruling while disposing of three petitions by Tibetans born in Shillong.

The three separate writ petitioners were taken up jointly by the High Court as they were concerned with the same question of law. The petitioners – Tenzing Choden Sherpa, Doma Tsering and Phuntsok Tashi – said they were citizens of India as defined by section 3 (1) (a) of the Citizenship Act of 1955, but that such rights had been denied to them by the Union of India and the State of Meghalaya without any justification and reason.

The court accepted their contentions and ruled that both the central and the state government had been entirely unjustified in denying the rights to the petitioners as citizens of India though such rights flow directly and unfailingly by the operation of the plain provisions of the law, reported Mar 7.

The court was reported to have found that each of the petitioners was born after Jan 26 1950, but before Jul 1, 1987, “and none of them has been shown suffering from any of the disqualifications.”

The Court was reported to have observed that similar cases were examined by the Delhi High Court involving Namgyal Dolkar (in Dec 2010) and Phuntsok Wangyal (and others in Sep 2016), and the Karnataka High Court in the Tenzin Choephang Ling Rinpoche case (in Aug 2013) and that the petitioners’ Indian citizenship had been upheld by the respective courts under the 1955 Act.


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