At the commencement of this Constitution, every person who has his domicile in the territory of India and —
(a) who was born in the territory of India; or
(b) either of whose parents was born in the territory of India; or
(c) who has been ordinarily resident in the territory of India for not less than five years immediately preceding such commencement,
shall be a citizen of India.
Article 5 of the Constitution of India, 1950 (Draft Article 5) lays down basic principles of citizenship. The Assembly discussed this Draft Article on 10th August 1949, 11th August 1949 and 12th August 1949.
The debates around this draft article concerned with proposals to include citizenship based on religion and dual citizenship.
Some sought to include a residuary provision for citizenship based on religion. They argued that every Hindu or Sikh who is not a citizen of any other state, irrespective of their residence should be entitled for Indian citizenship. In rebuttal, one member strongly urged against hyphenating religion and citizenship. He argued that rules must be informed by justice and equity and not on extraneous conditions.
Another member was keen on the draft article accommodating for dual citizenship. He added that this privilege must be extended to countries on the principle of reciprocity.
One member, believed that this Draft Article made Indian citizenship cheap. In response, it was pointed out that this Draft Article was stricter than the American law on citizenship.
Few members voluntarily withdrew their amendments, while other amendments which were put to vote were negatived. The Constituent Assembly adopted Draft Article 5 as introduced by the Drafting Committee on 12th August 1949.