SC grants citizenship on the basis of mother's nationality
KATHMANDU, Feb 27: In its landmark decision, the Supreme Court on Sunday issued an order of mandamus to the District Administration Office, Dolkha asking the latter to grant citizenship certificate to Sabina Damai Nepali on the basis of her mother´s citizenship.
A division bench of justices Bal Ram KC and Bharat Raj Upreti issued the order responding to the writ petition filed by Damai on January 24. The Prime Minister´s Office, the home ministry, law ministry, Dolakha DAO and chief district officer had been made defendants in the case.
“SC issues a mandamus to Dolakha DAO to grant Nepali citizenship to Sabina Damai as her mother Ganga Maya Damai holds a Nepali citizenship by descent,” reads the SC order.
The apex court has said the citizenship certificate be issued to Damai as per the constitution and laws.
“As per the Citizenship Act, a child can claim citizenship if either of his parents hold a Nepali citizenship,” SC Deputy Spokesperson Hemanta Rawal told Republica.
Damai, who has not been able to trace her father, had approached the Dolakha DAO twice to obtain citizenship certificate. Lamidada VDC office had provided necessary recommendations to facilitate the process.
“The DAO first denied Damai citizenship as she could not produce her father´s citizenship. Later, she approached the DAO with recommendation but to no avail,” Meera Dhungana, the lawyer who fought the legal battle for Damai, told Republica.
She said it was the DAO´s repeated refusal that prompted the 18-year-old girl to move the SC for justice.
It is a shame that our country still lags behind in granting women the basic political rights of citizenship. I hope this precedential case facilitates an efficient and faster implementation of non-discriminatory citizenship law.
People in authority need to put their biases aside and uphold the law of the state. It is sad that people who should have the understanding to take a stand against unjust laws seem to be engaged in disobeying just laws.