By Anshdeep Kaur
DELHI, India, 22 September 2016
In a historic judgement, today the Delhi High Court ordered the Ministry of External Affairs to treat as Indians all Tibetans who meet the criteria of being Indian citizens by birth, and to issue them passports. The Court held that the question of ‘nationality’ does not arise in cases where a person is considered a citizen of India as per the Citizenship Act.
The judgement came in response to three separate writs, filed by Phuntsok Wangyal, Lobsang Wangyal, and Tenzin Dhonden. All three Tibetans had been told to apply for, and receive, a citizenship certificate from the Ministry of Home Affairs before they could acquire a passport, despite all of them owning other proofs of their Indian citizenship like a Voter identification card.
The writs were combined together and heard by the Delhi High Court today, where it held that even Mr Tenzin Dhonden is to be considered a citizen of India. The Court observed that though Mr Dhonden was born in India after 1987, his Tibetan father was born in India in 1966, making even Mr Tenzin Dhonden eligible for an Indian Passport.
The High Court passed a direction to the Ministry of Home Affairs and Ministry of External Affairs to consider the applications of all Tibetans for a passport and not ask them to certify their nationality.
The High Court also quashed a letter written by the Ministry of Home Affairs to the Election Commission whereby the Ministry of Home Affairs stated that all Tibetans irrespective of their date of birth could not be presumed to be Indian. The Court set aside the letter on the grounds that it was in violation of the Citizenship Act.
The Ministry of External Affairs has been ordered to furnish passports to the three petitioners within the next four weeks.
Mr Giriraj Subramanium, who argued on behalf of Mr Lobsang Wangyal and Mr Tenzin Dhonden, says, “This Judgement clearly affirms the right of each Tibetan to an Indian Passport, and further ensures that Tibetans can avail of the protection of Indian Laws.”
Indeed, this landmark judgement holds up the word of Constitutional Law in India, and brings relief to many Indians of Foreign Descent who have faced unnecessary delays and disappointments in obtaining official travel documents.
Feb 27, 2021 Comments Off on State Vesak festival to be held in Jaffna this year
Feb 25, 2021 Comments Off on Imran Khan invites Sri Lankan Buddhists to visit Pakistan
Feb 23, 2021 Comments Off on The annual Quan The Am (Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva) Buddhist Festival in Hanoi
Feb 22, 2021 Comments Off on Buddha statue at Hazaribagh, Jharkhand
Feb 09, 2021 Comments Off on Tibetan Elections: Preliminary round results and fallout
Jan 25, 2021 Comments Off on Urge India to refrain from complicating situation along border, says China
Dec 31, 2020 Comments Off on Buddhist Eco-monks and Tree Ordination
Dec 09, 2020 Comments Off on Mount Everest is now 8,848.86 metres tall after measurement
Nov 27, 2019 Comments Off on Dr. Yeshi Dhonden, Former Personal Physician to the Dalai Lama, DiesBy Staff writer Dr. Yeshi Dhonden, 1927–2019....
Aug 29, 2019 Comments Off on Former Rigpa Head Sogyal Rinpoche Passes Away in ThailandBy Staff Writer On behalf of all members of the...
Feb 07, 2018 Comments Off on Passing of World-renowned Scholar Jao Tsung-I MournedBy Staff Writer On behalf of all members of the...
Feb 17, 2017 Comments Off on Respected Tibetan Teacher Kyabje Gelek Rinpoche DiesRespected Tibetan Teacher Kyabje Gelek Rinpoche On behalf...
Jun 27, 2016 Comments Off on Condolence message on the demise of Ven. Anamaduwe Sri Dhammadassi NayakeTheroVen. Anamaduwe Sri Dhammadassi NayakeThero General...