5 Dec 2019

Aatish Taseer OCI status cancelled

Source: The Hindu

Manifest pedagogy: OCI and PIO cards are issues with great technical details with respect to the provisions for eligibility and removal criteria. They make for brilliant prelims questions. As the issue of OCI has been triggered again it is better to have a look at the provisions. 

In news: Overseas Citizenship of India (OCI) card of Aatish Taseer has been cancelled.

Placing it in syllabus: Citizenship Act

Dimensions:

  • What is OCI?
  • Conditions to get OCI
  • On what conditions can it be cancelled?

Content:

Author Aatish Taseer has accused the government of cancelling his Overseas Citizenship of India (OCI) card “by Twitter”. But the Home Ministry has accused him of “concealment of material facts” and “false representation” when he applied for his original Person of Indian Origin (PIO) status in 2000. In 2016, Mr. Taseer had procured his OCI card.

He had not revealed that his biological father, former Governor of Pakistan’s Punjab province Salman Taseer, had British and Pakistani citizenship. The government officials have told that “due process” has been followed and his request for a review had been dismissed by the “competent authority”  

What is OCI?

  • The OCI Scheme was introduced by amending the Citizenship Act, 1955 in August 2005.
  • It was launched during the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas convention 2006 at Hyderabad.
  • The Scheme provides for registration as OCI of all PIOs 
    • who were citizens of India on 26th January, 1950 or thereafter or 
    • were eligible to become citizens of India on 26th January, 1950 except who is or had been a citizen of Pakistan, Bangladesh or such other country as the Central Government may specify.
  • It is not to be misinterpreted as ‘dual citizenship’. 
  • It does not confer political rights.
  • He/she shall not be entitled to the rights conferred under article 16 of the Constitution.
  • A registered OCI is granted multiple entry, multi purpose, life-long visa for visiting India.
  • He/she is exempted from registration with Foreign Regional Registration Officer.
  • He/she is entitled to general ‘parity with Non-Resident Indians (NRIs) in respect of all facilities available to them in economic, financial and educational fields.

Conditions to get OCI card:

The below mentioned shall be eligible for registration as an OCI.

  • any person of full age and capacity who is a citizen of another country, but was a citizen of India at the time of or after the commencement of the Constitution.
  • who is a citizen of another country, but was eligible to become a citizen of India at the time of the commencement of the Constitution.
  • who is a citizen of another country, but belonged to a territory that became part of India after the 15th day of August, 1947.
  • who is a child or a grand-child of such a citizen.
  • a person, who is a minor child of a person mentioned in clause (a) provided that no person, who is or had been a citizen of Pakistan, Bangladesh or such other country as the Central Government may specify. 

On what conditions can it be cancelled?

  • If any overseas citizen of India of full age and capacity makes a declaration renouncing his OCI in a prescribed manner and such declaration shall be registered by the Central Government.
  • In that case, every minor child of that person registered as an overseas citizen of India, shall thereupon cease to be an overseas citizen of India.

The Central Government may, by order, cancel the registration if it is satisfied that-

  • the registration as an overseas citizen of India was obtained by means of fraud, false representation or concealment of any material fact.
  • He/she has shown disaffection towards the Constitution of India as by law established.
  • He/she has, during any war in which India may be engaged, unlawfully traded or communicated with an enemy or associated with any commercial activity so as to assist an enemy in that war.
  • He/she, within five years after registration has been sentenced to imprisonment for a term of not less than two years.