Notwithstanding anything in article 5, a person who has migrated to the territory of India from the territory now included in Pakistan shall be deemed to be a citizen of India at the commencement of this Constitution if —

 

      (a) he or either of his parents or any of his grandparents was born in India as defined in the Government of India Act, 1935 (as originally enacted); and

   

      (b)  (i) in the case where such person has so migrated before the nineteenth day of July, 1948, he has been ordinarily resident in the territory of India since the date of his migration, or

         

            (ii) in the case where such person has so migrated on or after the nineteenth day of July, 1948, he has been registered as a citizen of India by an officer appointed in that behalf by the Government      of the Dominion of India on an application made by him therefor to such officer before the commencement of this Constitution in the form and manner prescribed by that Government:

 

Provided that no person shall be so registered unless he has been resident in the territory of India for at least six months immediately preceding the date of his application.

Debate Summary

Article 6 of the Constitution of India (Article 5A of the Draft Constitution) lays down principles of citizenship with regards to persons who migrated from Pakistan to India during partition.

 

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

 

The two crucial strands of this debate were to make the intent explicit and to include strong requirements of evidence to acquire citizenship.

 

Some members proposed to add ‘on account of Civil disturbance or the fear of such disturbances’ in the first clause. It was argued that the inclusion of this phrase would articulate and make explicit the real intention behind this provision which was to facilitate migration from Pakistan in the wake of civil disturbance or fear of it.

 

Another member wanted make it compulsory to provide evidence to prove right by descent and intention to permanently reside in India. He argued that Indian citizenship must be regarded as a matter of great privilege and a cheap or easy affair.

 

The members of the Drafting Committee reminded the Assembly that this Article sought to settle basic principles of citizenship and did not aim to establish a ‘code of nationality law’.  One member went on to say that compared to the Indian constitution, no other constitution even made an attempt to comprehensively deal with various aspects of nationality law.

 

Towards the end of the debate, some members voluntarily withdrew their amendments, while other amendments which were put to vote were not accepted.

 

The Constituent Assembly adopted Draft Article 5A as introduced by the Drafting Committee on 12th August 1949.