The Hindu Bureau | Madurai | OCTOBER 18, 2022:: “One can take judicial notice of the fact that the Hindu Tamils of Sri Lanka were the primary victims of the racial strife,” said Justice G.R. Swaminathan of the Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court while observing that the principles of the recent Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) was equally applicable to them.
“Parliament has recently amended the Citizenship Act. The persecuted minorities from the immediate neighbouring countries, such as Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh, now have an opportunity to get Indian citizenship. Though Sri Lanka does not fall within the said amendment, the very same principle is equally applicable. One can take judicial notice of the fact that the Hindu Tamils of Sri Lanka were the primary victims of the racial strife,” he said.
The court was hearing a petition filed by S. Abirami, born in India to Sri Lankan Tamil refugees, and now staying in Tiruchi seeking Indian citizenship. She sought a direction from the Tiruchi Collector to forward her application for citizenship to the State government.
The judge took note of the fact that the parents of the petitioner are Sri Lankan citizens. They came to India as they could not be in Sri Lanka on account of the ethnic strife. The petitioner was born in 1993 in Tiruchi. She has been in India all these years and did her schooling here. She was issued an Aadhaar Card. However, her efforts to obtain Indian citizenship have been in vain, which led to the filing of the present petition.
The judge observed that in the present case, though the petitioner is a descendant of “migrant parents”, she was born in India. She has never been a Sri Lankan citizen, and therefore, the question of renouncing the same does not arise. If the petitioner’s request is not granted, that would lead to her Statelessness. That is a situation that has to be avoided.
The judge said though the Central government would take a call on the matter, there should not be any impediment to considering the petitioner’s request. The State government and the Tiruchi Collector should not have declined to forward the petitioner’s application for eventual consideration by the Central government.
No exception can be taken to the petitioner’s request, the court said and directed the Tiruchi Collector to forward her application to the State government. The State government shall forward the same to the Central government who shall take a call in the matter within 16 weeks, the judge said.
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