Kriyaa Hi Vastoopahutaa Praseedati

Indian Polity, Study Materials

Union and Territory & Citizenship

Part I is a compilation of laws pertaining to the constitution of India as a country and the union of states that it is made of. This part of the constitution contains the law in the establishment, renaming, merging, or altering the borders of the states.

Indian Federation unlike American Federation is not a result of an agreement among the states. Also, the states have no right to secede from the federation. Thus, the federation is indestructible. The country is an integral whole and divided into different states only for the convenience of administration. Articles 1 to 4 under Part-I of the Constitution deal with the Union and its territory.

Article 1 declares India, that is, Bharat as a ‘Union of States’.

Article 2 empowers the Parliament to ‘admit into the Union of India, or establish, new states on such terms and conditions as it thinks fit’. Thus, Article 2 grants two powers to the Parliament: (a) the power to admit into the Union of India new states; and (b) the power to establish new states.

Article 3 relates to the formation of or changes in the existing states of the Union of India. In other words, Article 3 deals with the internal re-adjustment inter se of the territories of the constituent states of the Union of India.

Article 4 itself declares that laws made for admission or establishment of new states (under Article 2) and formation of new states and alteration of areas, boundaries or names of existing states (under Articles 3) are not to be considered as amendments of the Constitution under Article 368. This means that such laws can be passed by a simple majority and by the ordinary legislative process.

Some committees that were important in the reorganization of states in the Indian Union –  

Linguistic Provinces Commission, 1948 (Dhar Commission)SK Dhar (Chairman), Jagat Narain Lal, Panna LalReorganization on the basis of administration convenience rather than on Linguistic basis.
JVP CommitteeJL Nehru (Chairman), Vallabha Bhai Patel, Pattabhi SitaramayyaRejected language as the basis for reorganization of states
Fazl Ali CommissionFazl Ali (Chairman), KM Pannikar, HN KunzruAccepted language as the basis of reorganization of states. However, rejected the theory of one language-one-state. It was of the opinion that the unity of India should be regarded as the primary consideration in any redrawing of the country’s political units.

Formation of States

StateFormation YearStatus prior to formation
Andhra Pradesh1953Part of Madras
Gujarat1960Part of the Bombay
Maharashtra1960Part of Bombay
Kerala1956State of Travancore and Cochin
Nagaland1963Union Territory
Haryana1966Part of Punjab
Karnataka1956State of Mysore was formed in 1953, enlarged in 1956 which was renamed in 1973.
Himachal Pradesh1971Union Territory
Manipur, Tripura1972Union Territories
Meghalaya1972Autonomous state within the state of Assam
Sikkim1975Associate state since 1974 and a protectorate of India before that.
Mizoram1987District of Assam till 1972 and Union Territory from 1972 to 1987
Arunchal Pradesh1987Union Territory
Goa1987Union territory
Uttarakhand2000Part of Uttar Pradesh
Chhattisgarh2000Part of Madhya Pradesh
Telengana2014Part of Andhra Pradesh
Jammu and Kashmir2019Became UT after bifurcation of erstwhile State of Jammu and Kashmir into two separate units
Ladakh2019Part of Jammu and Kashmir State
Daman and Diu & Dadra and Nagar Haveli2020Separate Union Territories

Goa, Puducherry, Dadra & Nagar Haveli and Sikkim were not part of India at the time of independence, Goa was liberated from Portuguese occupation in 1961, Puducherry along with Karaikal, Mahe and Yanam, was transferred to India in 1954 by the French, Dadra & Nagar Haveli were liberated in 1954 from Portuguese and Sikkim became a part of India in 1974.

Citizenship (Part-II)

Citizenship signifies the relationship between individual and state. Like any other modern state, India has two kinds of people—citizens and aliens. Citizens are full members of the Indian State and owe allegiance to it. They enjoy all civil and political rights. There are two well-known principles for the grant of citizenship. While ‘jus soli’ confers citizenship on the basis of place of birth, ‘jus sanguinis’ gives recognition to blood ties. From the time of the Motilal Nehru Committee (1928), the Indian leadership was in favor of the enlightened concept of jus soli. The racial idea of jus sanguinis was also rejected by the Constituent Assembly as it was against the Indian ethos.

Part II of the Constitution covers constitutional provisions.

Articles 5-11 deals with the citizenship.

  • Articles 5-8 only deal with the citizenship of individuals who became citizens of India at the commencement of the Constitution. Also, these articles take into account migration issues.
  • No person shall be a citizen of India or be deemed to be a citizen of India if he has voluntarily acquired the citizenship of any foreign state (Article 9).
  • Every person who is or is deemed to be a citizen of India shall continue to be such citizen, subject to the provisions of any law made by Parliament (Article 10).
  • Parliament shall have the power to make any provision with respect to the acquisition and termination of citizenship and all other matters relating to citizenship (Article 11).

The Constitution confers the following rights and privileges on the citizens of India (and denies the same to aliens):

  • Rights conferred under Articles 15, 16, 19, 29 & 30.
  • Right to vote in elections to the Lok Sabha and state legislative assembly.
  • Right to contest for the membership of the Parliament and the state legislature.
  • Eligibility to hold certain public offices, that is, President of India, Vice President of India, judges of the Supreme Court and the high courts, governor of states, attorney general of India and advocate general of states.

Originally the Citizenship Act 1955 also provided for the Commonwealth Citizenship but it was deleted by the Citizenship Amendment Act 2003. The Constitution provides single citizenship to its citizens, the concept of single citizenship has been borrowed from the Constitution of U.K. The citizens of India are only the citizens of the union of India they don’t have the separate state citizenship, on the other hand the countries like USA and Switzerland adopted the system of double citizenship where the person is not only the citizen of the country but he is also the citizen of the state in which he lives in. Thus, the person enjoys the dual set of rights one set by the country and the others set by the state.

Citizenship of India can be acquired by:

  • Birth
  • Descent
  • Registration
  • Naturalization
  • Incorporation of territory

Citizenship can be revoked through

  • Termination
  • Renunciation
  • Acquisition of another country
  • Deprivation

Citizenship by Birth

Every person born in India on or after the 26th January, 1950, is a citizen of India by birth except if at the time of his birth

  1. His father possesses such immunity from suits and legal process as is accorded to an envoy of a foreign sovereign power accredited to the President of India and is not a citizen of India; or
  2. His father is an enemy alien and the birth occurs in a place than under occupation by the enemy.

From 1st July, 1987 i.e. the date of enforcement of the Citizenship (amendment) Act, 1986, except as provided at a & b above, every person born in India on or after 26th January, 1950 but before the commencement of the act and on or after such commencement and either of whose parents a citizen in India at the time of his birth, shall be citizen of India by birth.

Citizenship by Descent

A person born outside India. On or after 26th January 1950 but before the commencement of the Citizenship (Amendment) act, 1992, shall be a citizen of India by descent

(a) if his father is a citizen of India at the time of his birth; or

(b) On or after such commencement, shall be a citizen of India by descent if either of his parents is a citizen of India at the time of his birth Provided further if either of the parents of such a person referred to in clause (b) was a citizen of India by descent only, that person is not be a citizen of India by virtue of this section unless

  1. his birth is registered at an Indian Consulate within one year of its occurrence or the commencement of the Citizenship (amendment) act, 1992, whichever is later, or, with the permission of the Central Government, after the expiry of the said period; or
  2. Either of his parents is at the time of his birth, in service under a Government of India.

Citizenship by Registration

Subject to certain conditions and restrictions, the Central Government, in the Ministry of home Affairs, may, on application made in this behalf, register as a citizen of India any person who is not already such citizen and belongs to any of the following categories

  1. Persons of Indian origin who are ordinarily resident in India and have been so resident for five years immediately before making an application for registration. Prior to the coming into force of the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 1986 i.e. 1st July 1987, this period was six months.
  2. Persons of Indian origin who are ordinarily resident in any country or place
    outside undivided India;
  3. 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. Prior to the Citizenship (amendment) act, 1986 the clause read ” women who are or have been married to citizens of India”
  4. Minor children of persons who are citizens of India; and
  5. Persons of full age and capacity who are citizens of a country specified in the first Schedule of the citizenship Act, 1955.

Citizenship by Naturalization

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 the First Schedule 14.I for the grant of a certificate of a naturalization to him, the Central Government may, if satisfied that the applicant is qualified for naturalization under the provisions if the
Third Schedule, grant to him a certificate of naturalization.

Provided that, if in the opinion of the Central Government, the applicant is a person who has rendered distinguished services 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 the Third Schedule of Citizenship act, 1955.

The person to whom a certificate of naturalization is granted shall, on taking an oath of allegiance in the form specified in the Second Schedule, be a citizen of India by naturalization as from the date on which that certificate is granted.

Citizenship by Incorporation of territories

If any territory becomes a part of India, the Central Government, may by orders notified in the Official Gazette, specify the persons who shall be citizens of India by reasons of their connection with that territory, and those persons shall be citizens of India as from the date to be specified in the order.

Termination of Citizenship

Citizenship is terminated either by renunciation, acquisition and deprivation of
citizenship of another country.

By Renunciation

If any citizen of India of full age and capacity, who is also a citizen or national of another country, makes in the prescribed manner a declaration renouncing his Indian citizenship; the declaration shall be registered by the prescribed authority, and upon such registration, that person shall cease to be a citizen of Indian. Provided that if any such declaration is made during any war in which India may be engaged, registration thereof shall be withheld until the Central government otherwise directs.

Where a person ceases to be a citizen of India every minor child of that person shall thereupon cease to be a citizen of India, provided that any such child may, within one year after attaining full age, make a declaration that he wishes to resume Indian citizenship and shall thereupon again become a citizen of India.

By Acquisition of Citizenship of other country

Any citizen of India who by naturalization, registration or otherwise voluntarily acquires, or has at any time between the 26th January 1950 and the commencement of this Act voluntarily acquired, the citizenship of another country, cease to be a citizen of India. However, this does not apply to a citizen of India, during any war in which India may be engaged, voluntarily acquires the citizenship of another country, until the Central Government otherwise directs.

If any question arises as to whether, when or how any person has acquired the citizenship of another country, it shall be determined by such authority, in such manner, and having regard to such rules of evidence, as may be prescribed in this behalf.

By Deprivation

The Central government under section 10 of the Indian citizenship Act, 1955 deprives any citizen of Indian Citizenship if it is satisfied that

  1. the registration or certificate of naturalization was obtained by means of fraud,
    false representation or concealment of any material fact; or
  2. that citizen has shown himself by act or speech to be disloyal or disaffected towards the Constitution of India as by law established; or
  3. that citizen has, during the war in which India may be engaged, unlawfully traded or communicated with an enemy or been engaged in or associated with, any business that was to his knowledge carried on in such manner as to assist any enemy in that war; or
  4. that citizen has, within five years after registration or naturalization, been sentenced in any country to imprisonment for a term of not less than two years; or
  5. That citizen has been ordinarily resident out of India for a continuous period of seven years, and during that period, has neither been at any time a student of any educational institution in a country outside India or in the service of a Government of India or of an International organization of which India is a member, nor registered annually in the prescribed manner at an Indian consulate his intention to retain his citizenship of India.
  6. The Central Government shall not deprive a person of citizenship unless it is satisfied that it is not conducive to the public good that person should continue to be a citizen of India.

Citizenship Amendment Act, 1986

Unlike the constitutional provision and the original Citizenship Act that gave citizenship on the principle of jus soli to everyone born in India, the 1986 amendment to Section 3 was less inclusive. The amendment has added the condition that those who were born in India on or after January 26, 1950 but before July 1, 1987, shall be Indian citizen. Those born after July 1, 1987 and before December 4, 2003, in addition to one’s own birth in India, can get citizenship only if either of his parents was an Indian citizen at the time of birth.

Citizenship Amendment Act, 2003

The amendment made the above condition more stringent, keeping in view infiltration from Bangladesh. Now the law requires that for those born on or after December 4, 2004, in addition to the fact of their own birth, both parents should be Indian citizens or one parent must be Indian citizen and other should not be an illegal migrant. With these restrictive amendments, India has almost moved towards the narrow principle of jus sanguinis or blood relationship. This lays down that an illegal migrant cannot claim citizenship by naturalization or registration even if he has been a resident of India for seven years.

Citizenship Amendment Act, 2019

The act states that the specified class of illegal migrants from the three countries will not be treated as illegal migrants, making them eligible for citizenship. On acquiring citizenship, such migrants shall be deemed to be Indian citizens from the date of their entry into India and all legal proceedings regarding their status as illegal migrants or their citizenship will be closed. The Act allows a person to apply for citizenship by naturalization, if the person meets certain qualifications. One of the qualifications is that the person must have resided in India or been in central government service for the last 12 months and at least 11 years of the preceding 14 years. For the specified class of illegal migrants, the number of years of residency has been relaxed from 11 years to five years.

However, it will not apply to certain areas. These are:

  1. the tribal areas of Assam, Meghalaya, Mizoram, and Tripura, as included in the Sixth Schedule to the Constitution, and
  2. the states regulated by the “Inner Line” permit under the Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulations 1873. These Sixth Schedule tribal areas include Karbi Anglong (in Assam), Garo Hills (in Meghalaya), Chakma District (in Mizoram), and Tripura Tribal Areas District. Further, the Inner Line Permit regulates visit of all persons, including Indian citizens, to Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoram, and Nagaland.

Overseas Citizenship of India

The Government of India gives the Overseas Citizenship of India (OCI) which is sometimes mistakenly referred as the Dual Citizenship. The Persons of Indian Origin (PIO) who have migrated from India and acquired the citizenship of foreign country other than Pakistan and Bangladesh are eligible to get OCI as far as their home countries allow dual citizenship in some form or other under their local laws. Ministry of Home Affairs defines an OCI as a person who was a citizen of India on or after 26th January 1950 or Was eligible to become a citizen of India on 26th January 1950 or Is a child or grandchild of such a person, among other eligibility criteria. In the year 2015, Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2015 merged the Person of Indian Origin (PIO) category with OCI category.

  • An OCI is a citizen of another country.
  • An OCI gets multiple-entry long-term visa for visiting India.
  • An OCI is not at par with NRIs in all matters.

The OCI does not enjoy all the privileges as the permanent citizens such as

  • They will not get an Indian passport.
  • They are not allowed to vote
  • They do not have the right to contest the contest the election and they cannot become the member of either house of Parliament or state legislature.
  • They cannot hold the Constitutional post or any other post under the government of India.
  • They cannot acquire agricultural or plantation properties in India but they can
    inherit such properties.


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