By – Gaurav Pandhi

Dr. Subramanian Swami, the ‘crying parrot’  president of Janata Party has always shouted on the roof top questioning the citizenship status of the UPA chairperson Mrs. Sonia Gandhi and also that Mrs. Sonia Gandhi was denied the post of the PM in 2004 after he wrote a letter in this regard to the then President of India Dr. Kalam, emphasisng on the Section 5 of the Citizenship Act 1955, which according to Dr. Swami concludes that Mrs. Gandhi is not the valid citizen of the Republic of India. Really, is that so?

Well, after reading about it a lot over the internet, I decided to research on this matter on my own, rather than depending on the unauthentic or incomplete information provided my Dr. Swamy or the youth of India who are prone to be attracted towards the negativity spread by the liars like Dr. Swamy.

In fact there was a press release from Rashtrapati Bhavan on 19th May 2004 stating that there was no issue as such (citizenship) that was discussed by the President and Mrs. Gandhi.

Further the irony is that I found the complete information on Mrs. Gandhi’s citizenship under the same section on which Dr. Swami had been crowing since long.

Now, read it carefully and again and again; the Section 5(1) (e) of The Citizenship Act 1955 says that:

A “person of full age and capacity who are citizens of a country specified in Schedule I:

PROVIDED that in prescribing the conditions and restrictions subject to which persons of any such country may be registered as citizens of India under this clause, the Central Government shall have due regard to the conditions subject to which citizens of India may, by law or practice of that country, become citizens of that country by registration.”

So now, the countries specified in Schedule I, are the common wealth countries and The Republic of Ireland. The list of the commonwealth countries is as under:

1. United Kingdom

2. Canada

3. Commonwealth of Australia

4. New Zealand

5. Union of South Africa

6. Pakistan

7. Ceylon

8. Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland

9. Ghana

10. Federation of Malaya

11. Singapore

And the republic of Ireland

Therefore, the section 5(1) (e) of The Citizenship Act 1955 is applied only on the citizens of the countries mentioned above.

Sonia Gandhi has been living in India since 1968 and she did qualify for citizenship through naturalisation as laid down by the citizenship law and rules; however, she could only apply for the citizenship when Section 5 (1)(c) was inserted in the Citizenship Act, 1955, through an amendment. The section 5 (1)(c) states that “persons who are, or have been, married to citizens of India and are ordinarily resident in India and have been so resident for five years immediately before making an application for registration”.

Also, Sonia Gandhi became the citizen of India in 1983 by naturalisation as provided for under Section 6 of the Citizenship Act, 1955. The Section 6 of the Citizenship Act, 1955 says, “Citizenship by naturalisation” –

(1) Where an application is made in the prescribed manner by any person of full age and capacity who is not a citizen of a country specified in Schedule I for the grant of a certificate of naturalization to him, the Central Government may, if satisfied that the applicant is qualified for naturalisation under the provisions of Schedule III, grant to him, a certificate of naturalisation:

PROVIDED that, if in the opinion of the Central Government, the applicant is a person who has rendered distinguished service to the cause of science, philosophy, art, literature, world peace or human progress generally, it may waive all or any of the conditions specified in Third Schedule III.

(2) The person to whom a certificate of naturalisation is granted under sub-section (1) shall, on taking the oath of allegiance in the form specified in Schedule II, be a citizen of India by naturalisation as from the date on which that certificate is granted.

Also, in order to clear the air about Mrs. Gandhi still holding the Italian citizenship; please be informed that she acquired Indian Citizenship in April 1983 and surrendered her Italian passport to the respective embassy. The Italian Nationality Law at that time (prior to July 1, 1992) did not permit dual citizenship. If an Italian citizen naturalized the citizenship of any other country (India in this case), then the person automatically loses the Italian citizenship.

Therefore, Sonia Gandhi has fulfilled all the conditions including that a person must have adequate knowledge of a language specified in the Eighth Schedule of the Constitution, with her more than adequate working knowledge of Hindi.

Consequently, referring to the Citizenship Act 1955, Mrs. Gandhi is a valid citizen of India and has and can avail all the rights provided to the citizens of India and hence, can also become the Prime Minister of India (which she got the opportunity but she declined, not denied) whether you like it or not, this is the truth!

You may access the copy of the Citizenship Act 1955 from the link mentioned below: