All India Congress Committee secretary and Rajya Sabha MP Shantaram Naik today rubbished the media report that Collectors of Goa have been empowered to look into the issue of dual citizenship of Indian citizens residing in the state, saying that the report is not factually correct as thenotification was issued in order to protect the voting rights of Goans.
In a statement here, he said since a number of Goans had registered their births in Portugal, it was argued by some that they ceased to be Indian citizens, which was not the correct position of law.
Mr Naik said the issue of dual citizenship was altogether a different matter and the Union Government, it appeared, was not inclined to consider the issue.
However, the Congress in Goa had decided to pursue the matter with the government, which was an independent matter, not covered by present notification, he said.
The senior Congress leader said the limited object of the notification dated November 22, 2016, was to ensure that the names of those who had merely registered their births in Portugal should not lose their voting rights in Goa.
Stating that he had taken up the issue vigorously with the Home Ministry, and that had even introduced a bill to amend The Citizenship Act 1955, Mr Naik said instead of issuing the notification, it would have been ideal if the central government had accepted his amendment, introduced in the Rajya Sabha, which he had proposed to section 9 of Citizenship Act, 1955.
The Rajya Sabha MP added that he had proposed to add a proviso after sub-section (1), which said that no citizen of India shall be deemed to have lost his citizenship merely on grounds of his or her availing the facility conferred by the order enacted by the Portuguese Government by registering their births in Portugal, to the Indian citizens residing in the territory of erstwhile Union Territory of Goa, Daman & Diu and Dadra & Nagar Haveli, then ruled by the Government of Portugal, unless such Indian citizens voluntarily apply for the citizenship of that country with specific intention of renouncing the citizenship of India, he informed.
''The procedure presently adopted by the central government is cumbersome and would create tremendous hardships as, by this procedure, every citizen who has registered his or her birth in Portugal purely with a view to get a better access to education in foreign universities, will have to appear now, before the collector to prove that he or she is the citizen of India with proof of documents which have not been specified yet in thenotification,'' he said.
''Object of the notification is to only know whether an Indian citizen residing in Goa has voluntarily acquired citizenship of another country. It is only those Indian citizens, residing in Goa, who have obtained Portuguese passports will cease to be Indian citizens and therefore will have no voting right but others will enjoy their full voting right,'' he said and added that the Centre which spoke of ease of doing business, Digital India, simplification of laws, facilities for NRIs, had made a mess of citizenship issue.UNI AKM SS SW RJ 1902
-- (UNI) -- C-1-DL0169-1150124.Xml