1) Meaning of citizenship - 

                  The population of State is derived into two classes, Citizens and Aliens. A citizen of a state is a person who enjoys full of Civil and political rights. Citizens are different from aliens who do not enjoy all these rights. Citizenship carries with it certain advantages conferred by the constitution. Aliens do not enjoy these advantages.

2) Constitutional Provisions -

                    Part- II of the Constitution simply describes classes of persons who would be deemed to be the citizens of India at the commencement of the Constitution, the 26th January, 1950, and leaves the entire Law of the citizenship to be regulated by law made by Parliament. Article 11 expressly confers power on Parliament to make law to provide for such matters. In exercise of its power the Parliament has elected the Indian citizenship Act, 1955. This Act provides for the acquisition and termination of citizenship subsequent to commencement of the constitution.

                  A citizenship is a legal status acquired by a person. Though India is a federation having two levels of government there is only one citizenship.  Example - Indian citizenship and no separate State citizenship.

3) Classification of Citizens - 

  • 1. Citizens by domicile

  • 2. Citizens by migration.

  • 3. Citizens by registration

1. Citizen By domicile - (Article 5)

                                     Domicile in India is considered an essential requirement for acquiring the status of Indian citizenship. But the term 'domicile' is not defined in the constitution anywhere. The domicile of a person is in that country in which he either has or is deemed by law to have his permanent house. There is distinction between domicile and residence. Residence alone in a place is not sufficient to constitute the domicile. It must be accompanied by the intention to make it his permanent home.
Every person having domicile in India at the commencement of the constitution and fulfilling the following condition is the citizen of India.

1) He was born in India

2) Either his parents was born in India.

3) Who has been ordinarily resident in India for not less than 5 years immediately preceding the commencement of the Constitution.

2. Citizen by Migration - (Article 6) 

                     At the time of independence of India there was large scale Migration of people from Pakistan to India. And special provisions are made for them under Article 6.
Under Article 6 an immigrant from Pakistan becomes a Citizen of India if:

a) He was born in India, or

b) Either of his parents was born in India. Or

c) Either his grandparents was born in India (as it was prior to Independence) and in addition, fulfillment one
of the following two conditions -

i) In case of migrated to India before 19th July, 1948, he had been ordinarily resident in India since the date of migration, or

ii) In case of he migrated on or after 19th July 1948, he had been registered as a citizen of India.
A person could be registered only if he has been resident in India for at least 6 months preceding the date of his application for registration

3.Citizen by registration - (Article 8)
A Parson -
  • who was born in India
  • either of whose parents was born in India, or
  • any of whose grandparents was born in India before independence, but who is ordinarily deciding in any country outside India and Pakistan may register himself as a citizen of India with the diplomatic or consular representative of India in the country of Residence. It was choice to those who want to acquire Indian citizenship.
4) Citizenship and under the citizenship Act 1955 -

             Parliament, in exercise of the powers given to it under article 11 of the Constitution, has passed the Citizenship Act, 1955, making provisions for acquisition and termination of citizenship after the commencement of the Constitution. The Act provides for the acquisition of Indian citizenship after the commencement of the Constitution in 5 ways. Examples Birth, Descent, registration, naturalization and incorporation of territory.

A) Citizenship by Birth -

                            A person born in India on or after 26 January 1950, is a citizen of India by birth except when -

a) His father possesses diplomatic immunity and is not a citizen Indian citizen, or

b) His father is an enemy alien and he is born at the place under any occupation.

B)  Citizenship by Descent -

                A person born outside India on after 26 January 1951, is citizen of India by descent, if at the time of his birth his father is an Indian citizen- but

a) When his birth is registered at an Indian consulate, or

b) His father is at the time of his birth on service under Government of India.

                  Similarly, any person born outside the Territory of undivided India who was or deemed to be a citizen of India at the commencement of the Constitution is also considered to be a citizen of India by Descent only.

C) Citizenship by registration -

              A person, who has not acquired citizenship under the provisions of citizenship Act, 1955, can acquire it by registration on application made by him subject to the conditions and restrictions that may be prescribed by appropriate authority. A person who wants to acquire citizenship by registration must fulfill any of the following conditions -

1) A person of Indian Origin, who ordinarily resides in India and have been so resident for 6 months immediately before making an application for registration.

2) A person of Indian Origin who ordinarily a resident of any country or place outside undivided India.

3) Women who are have been married to citizen of India.

4)  Minor Children of Persons Indian citizens.

5) Persons of full age and capacity who are citizen of U.S.A, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa , Pakistan, Ceylon, Rhodesia and Ireland. These person required to take oath of allegiance before registration.

D) Citizenship by naturalization -

                   Any person can acquire Indian citizenship by naturalization provided he couples following conditions and who are full age and capacity and not being to certain specified countries.

a) He should not be a Citizen of a country in which Indian citizen are prevented by law.

b) He must have renounced his earlier citizenship and communicated same to the central government.

c) He should be residing in India or should be in service of Government of India for the full period of 12 months before making application.

d) During the period of 7 years immediately preceding the above 12 month he should have resided in India
or should have in service of Government of India for the period of 4 years in the aggregate.

e) He should be a good character.

f) He should intend to reside in India

E) Citizenship by incorporation of territory - 
        If any new territory becomes a part of India, the Government of India shall specify the persons of the territory to be citizens of India.

5) Conclusion -

Article 5 to 11 of the Indian Constitution lay down as to who are the citizens of India at the commencement of the Constitution as well as citizenship by citizenship Act, 1955. No person can be citizen of India if he has voluntarily acquired the Citizenship of foreign country.


See Also..