Personal queries directly linked to establishing citizenship: SC- The Hindu-28-12-2019-Page-12


Kerala and West Bengal state governments have suspended the updating of National Population Register (NPR) amid apprehensions that NPR will lead to the National Register of Citizens (NRC).


The central government has so far denied any link between the National Population Register (NPR), which is to establish usual residency, and the National Register of Citizens (NRC), meant to establish citizenship.


Supreme Court Judgment, 2005:

The Supreme Court, in a 2005 judgment, has clearly held that these personal questions about a person’s place and date of birth, his parents’ names and their place of birth are directly associated with “establishing citizenship”.

The Judgment holds that in order to establish one’s citizenship, normally he or she may be required to give evidence of (i) his date of birth (ii) place of birth (iii) name of his parents (iv)their place of birth and citizenship.

The court explained that these facts figured especially in the context of establishing citizenship because they “would necessarily be within the personal knowledge of the person concerned and not of the authorities of the State”. In case of doubts about a person’s citizenship, the burden of proving that these facts were true was on the person concerned.

Citizenship rules, 2003:

The 2005 judgment came just over a year after the Citizenship (Registration of Citizens and Issue of National Identity Cards) Rules of 2003 was notified in December 2003.

The Rules clearly linked the NPR and the NRC. Rule 4(3) of the Citizenship Rules states that personal details collected for the ‘Population Register’ would be used in the preparation of the National Register of Indian Citizens.

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