KATHMANDU, Aug 7: The Ministry of Home Affairs (MoHA) has asked the government of Province 2 not to issue citizenship certificates to the children of those who received their own citizenship by birth until a bill for the amendment of the Nepal Citizenship Act 2007 is endorsed by the federal parliament.
In a letter sent to the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Law of Province 2 on Sunday, MoHA has said that a bill for the amendment of the Nepal Citizenship Act 2007 is currently in the cabinet for its consideration. The bill will be tabled in parliament for endorsement after receiving the consent of the cabinet.
In 2007, the government had distributed citizenship certificates by birth to those who were deprived of citizenship due to their failure to produce documents despite living in Nepal for long. However, the law wasn’t clear about citizenship status for their children.
The MoHA letter has stated that as per the decision taken by the cabinet meeting on August 5, the federal law will not bar children of those acquiring citizenship by birth from also receiving citizenship certificates.
The Constitution of Nepal 2015 has a provision for granting citizenship to the children of those who acquired their own citizenship by birth. However, the provision has not been implemented yet due to lack of necessary law governing this.
A serious dispute had surfaced recently after the chief district officers (CDOs) in the districts of Province 2 declined to obey a directive from the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Law of Province 2 Government.
The provincial ministry had then written to MoHA for clarifications on the matter.
MoHA has said that the Nepal Government is sensitive to the fact that the children of those receiving citizenship certificates by birth are not able to acquire Nepali citizenship themselves. “Nepal Government is committed to the implementation of the right of Nepali citizens to acquire citizenship certificate as enshrined in the constitution of Nepal,” states MoHA.
The Constitution of Nepal 2015 has reserved the authority to issue citizenship certificates for the federal government. Stating that the issuing of citizenship certificates to the children of those receiving citizenship certificates by birth requires amendments to the existing Citizenship Act, MoHA urged the Province 2 government to wait until an amendment is effected in the Citizenship Act.