Madras HC rejects father’s plea against daughter renouncing Indian citizenship

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The Madras High Court recently rejected a father’s request to prohibit the central government and the secretary of the ministry of interior from registering the statement of renunciation of citizenship or granting a certificate of no objection/ citizenship renunciation certificate to his daughter.

The Court notes that the girl is an adult, 25 years old. Furthermore, from the record of a previous habeas corpus petition filed by the father, the court noted that she had converted to Islam and had voluntarily applied for Bangladeshi citizenship.

Judge Abdul Quddhose was considering a petition filed by a father who alleged that his daughter, who currently resides in Bangladesh with her husband, was a victim of radicalization, undue influence, coercion, abduction and captivity violating all of her rights and human dignity.

He argued that his daughter’s abduction was being investigated by the National Investigation Agency (third defendant) and that any issuance of a waiver certificate would render the investigation superfluous. He also argued that such a release would irreparably jeopardize the chances of his recovery.

The petitioner also pointed out that the power conferred by citizenship law and rules should be exercised after considering all relevant documents and that orders should not be made mechanically. The High Commissioner of India to Bangladesh (fourth respondent) should consider whether the statement was made voluntarily or not. He argued that his daughter’s application for Bangladeshi citizenship was made under threat, coercion and undue influence and should therefore not be considered.

He further argued that since the issuance of any certificate would impact his daughter’s rights under Section 21 of the Constitution, court intervention was necessary. He also argued that the issuance of a certificate would also affect his and his wife’s rights, as their daughter’s welfare was intrinsic to their life and dignity.

The court noted that a Habeas Corpus petition had also been filed by the petitioner seeking the deportation of his daughter from Bangladesh to India. The said petition was closed after the court recorded Harshita’s statement that she converted to Islam and applied for Bangladeshi citizenship out of her own free will.

The court also noted that the National Investigation Agency had submitted a closing report to the Special Court for NIA cases regarding the complaint filed by the petitioner.

In view of the same, the court held that the issue of awarding relief in favor of the petitioner, as requested in the petition in brief, would not arise and dismissed the petition.

Case Title: Vinith Baid v. union of india

Case No: WPNo.14971 of 2020

Citation: 2022 LiveLaw (Mad) 358

Counsel for the Applicant: Mr. Niranjan Rajagopalan

Counsel for Respondents: M.SPAarthi, Central Government Standing Council (R1, R4), MSThiruvengadam (R2), MR Karthikeyan, Spl. PP(R3), MTSeenivasan, Spl. GP (R5), MT Mohan, M/s. Akshaya Sagarika (R6)

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