Goans registered in Portugal’s Registry may lose Indian citizenship 

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New Delhi | Published: May 31, 2016 8:49:18 PM

Goans, who obtained Portuguese nationality by registering their names in that country's Central Registry, may lose Indian citizenship with a high- level central panel recommending action against them as per Indian law.

Goans, who obtained Portuguese nationality by registering their names in that country’s Central Registry, may lose Indian citizenship with a high- level central panel recommending action against them as per Indian law.

The inter-ministerial committee, headed by Additional Secretary in the Home Ministry B K Prasad, has recommended that the issue of citizenship of such persons should be decided as per the Citizenship Act 1955 and Citizenship Rules 2009.

The panel was set up by the central government following a letter of the then Governor of Goa, B V Wanchoo, and the then Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar (currently Defence Minister), who had informed that around four lakh Goans have registered their names in Portugal’s Central Registry of Births, Marriages and Death.

As per Portuguese law, those who register their names in the Central Registry automatically become a Portuguese national and a citizen of European Nations.

However, such a person cease to be an Indian citizen as per the Citizenship Act 1955.

There have been allegations that several public servants, including MLAs and MPs, have registered their names in the Central Registry, which they claim has not been done by them or done without their knowledge.

After going through various deliberations, evidences and records available, the inter-ministerial committee felt that if any question arises as to whether, when and how any citizen of India has acquired the citizenship of another country, it should be determined by provisions of Citizenship Act 1955 and Citizenship Rules 2009.

The panel recommended that the issue of citizenship of such persons will be decided by an authority designated by the central government after receiving representations, enquire upon, in just, fair, reasonable and transparent manner and submit the report along with recommendations to central government for necessary action.

Portugal recognises dual/ multi nationality while India does not. This situation has given rise to serious problems relating to nationality and citizenship such as non-surrender of Indian passports on acquisition of Portugal nationality, illegal stay in India, violation of Foreigners Act or registration by a third party without consent or knowledge of the person concerned.

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