High Court Punjab and Haryana HC raises question on Section...

Punjab and Haryana HC raises question on Section 9 of Citizenship Act

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Chandigarh, Mar 11 (ILNS) The Punjab and Haryana High Court today, while hearing a petition, raised an important question with regard to Section 9(2) of the Citizenship Act, 1955, which envisages an opportunity to be heard before taking any decision.

A division bench of Justices Rajan Gupta and Karamjit Singh passed this order, while hearing a Civil Writ Petition filed by Jugraj Singh and others.

The plea stated that the petitioners were residents of village Ilmewala, tehsil Zira, district Ferozepur. It said Jugraj contacted a travel agent in 2001 with the intention to go to the US. Instead, he was duped and sent to Kenya. In 2007, he got married to Kamaljit  Kaur. The petitioner was forced to reside in Kenya in compelling circumstances and had to apply for Kenyan citizenship and passport.

In 2014, he decided to permanently return to India and got Indian visa issued on December 30, 2014 valid up to June 29, 2015. He reached India on  February 15, 2015 and since then, he has been residing along with his family in India.

The Counsel for the petitioners said that in view of grant of Kenyan citizenship to the petitioner, his Indian citizenship stood automatically terminated as per Section 9(1) of the Citizenship Act, 1955.

Jugraj said since he was born in India and was a permanent resident of village Ilmewala, Tehsil Zira, District Ferozepur, his Indian citizenship needs to be restored.

He even approached the Foreigners Regional Registration Officer, Bureau of Immigration (MHA), Government of India, 208 Basant  Avenue, Amritsar (respondent no. 3) for this purpose and filed a representation.

On January 18, 2021, Police of District Ferozepur visited the house of Petitioner Jugraj Singh and served notice asking him to leave India as he was considered to be a foreigner and was overstaying.

According to the Petitioners, such an action would be violative of Sections 14 and 21 of the Constitution of India, as no opportunity of hearing was afforded to Petitioner before taking the decision. Section 9(2) of the Citizenship Act, 1955 also envisages an opportunity of hearing before a decision in this regard is taken.

The Court, while issuing notice of motion to the parties, issued stay orders on the deportation of the Petitioner to Kenya till the next date of hearing. ILNS/SNG/JR

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