HP HC | Nepali citizen living in Shimla since 1997 refused Bonafide Himachali Certificate; S. 3(1) (b) of Indian Citizenship Act, 1955 applied

Himachal Pradesh High Court: Ajay Mohan Goel J., dismissed the petition being devoid of merits.

The facts of the case are such that the petitioner is a woman residing in Shimla since the year 1997 and in terms of the provisions in Hand Book on Personnel Matters (Vol-I) issued by the Personnel Department of the Government of Himachal Pradesh. A writ petition was filed earlier before the present court which was disposed off directing the competent authority to pass appropriate order in the said case vide order dated 02-11-2017. Pursuant to which, the office of Deputy Commissioner passed an order rejecting the claim of the petitioner to be entitled to the bonafide Himachali Certificate on the ground that the certificate can be issued to a person, who happens to be a citizen of India and as the petitioner is not a citizen of India, therefore, she is not entitled to the issuance of Bonafide Himachali certificate. Aggrieved by the same, the instant petition was filed challenging the order passed by the Deputy Commissioner.

Counsel for the petitioner A. K Gupta submitted that the order so passed by the competent authority is not sustainable in the eyes of law as citizenship is not a condition precedent for issuance of the Bonafide Himachali certificate. Counsel for the respondent Somesh Raj, Dinesh Thakur and Sanjeev Sood vehemently opposed the arguments submitted by the petitioner.

The Court after hearing both the parties observed that issuance of bonafide certificate requires a person to be the citizen of India which is more often than not a condition precedent to possess Bonafide Himachali certificate to be eligible to apply for a job in a Government Department of the State of Himachal Pradesh and it is an admitted fact that the petitioner is a Nepali national.

Section 3(1)(b) of the Indian Citizenship Act, 1955 is applicable to the applicant which provides that

“except as provided in sub-section(2), every person born in India, on or after the 1st day of July, 1987, but before the commencement of the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2003 and either of whose parents is a citizen of India at the time of his birth; shall be considered as an Indian.”

It was observed by the Court that the rejection order by the Deputy Commissioner makes it clear the applicant failed to produce any authentic document which could prove that one of her parents was a citizen of India at the time of her birth and thus her claim for the issuance of the certificate fails on this ground. The Court held that as per the reasons laid down in the rejection order by the Deputy Commissioner the issuance of a Bonafide HimachaliCertificate cannot be treated as genuine and justified under the prevalent requirements of the provisions.

In view of the above, the writ petition is dismissed and disposed of. [Kumari Beena v. State of H.P., 2020 SCC OnLine HP 1518, decided on 21-08-2020]

Arunima Bose, Editorial Assistant has put this story together

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