Process Sri Lankan refugee’s plea for Indian citizenship, Madras High Court directs Union Home Ministry

Justice Anita Sumanth orders that a speaking order must be passed either accepting or rejecting the plea after seeking all necessary clarifications from the applicant

Published - June 11, 2024 07:55 pm IST - CHENNAI

The Madras High Court has directed the Union Home Ministry to process an application filed by a Sri Lankan refugee, who has been reportedly residing in India since 1990, for Indian citizenship and pass a speaking order, either accepting or rejecting his plea.

Justice Anita Sumanth made it clear that a reasoned order must be passed on the citizenship application filed by Gajendiran, within 12 weeks, after seeking all necessary clarifications from the applicant and by following the applicable rules and regulations.

The direction was issued while disposing of a writ petition filed by the refugee in 2023 seeking a direction to the Union Home Ministry to expedite his citizenship application pending since 2017. In his affdavit, the petitioner, now residing in Puducherry, had claimed to have entered India in 1990.

He had obtained a bachelor’s degree in mathematics and completed his Masters in Business Administrtation too during his stay at the Keezhputhupet Rehabilitation Camp in Villupuram. He married an Indian on February 1, 2008 and was now the father of a nine-year-old child, the petitioner’s counsel L. Romeo Roy Alfred said.

However, central government senior panel counsel G. Babu highlighted a discrepancy in the petitioner’s application. While the petitioner claims to be Gajendiran, a refugee certificate issued by the rehabiltation department of the Government of Tamil Nadu had identified him as R. Gajendrakumar, the law officer said.

After recording their submissions, the judge said, the Union Home Ministry could seek all clarifications including those with respect to the discrepancy in the name while processing the citizenship application.

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