The Delhi High Court on Thursday said that nationality of Tibetans born in India between 1950 to 1987 cannot be questioned under the Citizenship Act and directed the government to treat all Tibetans who meet the criteria of being Indian citizens by birth, as Indians and to issue them passports.
Justice Sanjeev Sachdeva 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 court asked Ministry of External Affairs to furnish passports to the three Tibetan born in India - Lobsang Wangyal (1970), Lobsang Wangyal (1977) and Tenzin Dhonden (1992), within the next four weeks, as it rejected the Home Ministry's argument that granting of Indian passport to Tibetans living in India will be done on a case-by-case basis.
The high court passed direction to both Home and External Affairs Ministries to consider the applications of all Tibetans for a passport and not ask them to certify their nationality.
Advocate Giriraj Subramanium, appearing for two of the petitioners, said his clients were denied passport despite owning other proofs of their Indian citizenship like a voter identification card. The lawyer also said that a person born after 1987 but before the amendment to the Citizenship Act in 2003, is entitled to Indian citizenship if any one of the parents are have Indian citizenship.