A Madras High Court Bench of Justice GR Swaminathan has directed the Regional Passport authority to issue an Indian passport to a man whose father was a Srilankan refugee, and mother was an Indian.

Counsel I Romeo Roy Alfred appeared for the petitioner while Central Government Standing Counsel D Saravanan appeared for the Respondent.

In this case, a writ petition was filed under Article 226, praying that the High Court issues a Writ of Certiorarified Mandamus directing the respondent to issue a passport for the petitioner within a prescribed time.

The petitioner's father was a Srilankan refugee, and his mother was an Indian citizen.

Perusing the Citizenship Act, 1955, the Court noted that "every person born in India on or after first day of July, 1987, but before the commencement of the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2003 and either of whose parents is a citizen of India at the time of his birth shall be a citizen of India by birth".

In light of the same, the Court observed that "The petitioner has been lucky in two ways. His mother is an Indian citizen. He was born before the cut-off date. Both the statutory requirements stand fulfilled in this case".

In furtherance of the same, the Court observed that the respondent could not be blamed since the birth certificate of the petitioner described him as a Srilankan refugee. In that context, the Court observed that "In any event, it is erroneous. We are still stuck in patriarchal notions. The official must have thought that since the petitioner's father is a Srilankan refugee, the petitioner though born through an Indian citizen must also partake the father's nationality. The petitioner has offered his explanation before the respondent. Convincing and unimpeachable materials have been placed before this Court.".

Observing that "The petitioner has made out a case for grant of relief. The respondent is directed to process the petition mentioned application and issue passport to the petitioner within a period of three weeks from the date of receipt of a copy of this order.", the Court allowed the petition.

Cause Title: Neyatitus v. The Regional Passport Officer

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