Nothing in the foregoing provisions of this Part shall derogate from the power of Parliament to make any provision with respect to the acquisition and termination of citizenship and all other matters relating to citizenship

Debate Summary

Article 11 of the Constitution of India (Draft Article 6) gives parliament the power to make citizenship related laws.

 

This article was debated on 10th August 194911th August 1949 and 12th August 1949.

 

The discussions revolved around a single question: Whether the future parliament can have unfettered power to make citizenship related laws?

 

The Chairman of the Drafting Committee introduced this Draft Article. He stated that the Assembly was not tasked with making a permanent citizenship law, instead it aimed to settle key principles that would govern citizenship at the time of commencement of the Constitution. The future parliament, he continued, has the prerogative to make a comprehensive citizenship code. He further clarified that the parliament is not bound by the preceding articles. He went to the extent that the parliament can take away citizenship from the previously declared articles and also lay down new regulating principles.

 

One member was not convinced. He did not want the parliament’s power to legislate on citizenship to be unfettered. He proposed to add a qualifier: Parliament should not be allowed to grant equal citizenship rights to nationals of a foreign country which denies equal treatment to Indians.

 

The Assembly did not accept any amendments and adopted Draft Article 6 as introduced by the Drafting Committee on 12th August 1949