Home Minister Janardan Sharma revealed that denial of citizenship by district administration offices in mother’s name is on top of list of complaints registered by the general public with the grievance-hearing mechanism at the Ministry of Home Affairs.
According to minister Sharma a total of 599 complaints were registered within four weeks after the mechanism was set up and a majority of them accounted for grievances related to citizenship.
Minister Sharma told media persons that the helpline was flooded with complaints lodged by mothers who reported that their children were rendered stateless as authorities had denied them citizenship in mother’s name. “We have assigned these complaints to the authorities concerned,” said Sharma.
Article 10 of the Constitution of Nepal has stated that no citizen of Nepal may be deprived of the right to citizenship, but several thousands of citizens are denied this right due to various legal and procedural hurdles.
Article 11(5) of the constitution reads, “Every minor who is found within Nepal and the whereabouts of whose father and mother are not known shall, until the father or the mother of the child is traced, be a citizen of Nepal by descent.”
According to The Himalayan Times, in January, the Supreme Court had ruled in the name of the government that no child of Nepali mothers should be deprived of citizenship merely because his/her father’s identity has not been established.
The verdict was delivered after two children of a Nepali mother moved the apex court after being denied citizenship because the whereabouts of their father were not known. Meanwhile, Minister Sharma said more than 300 complaints related to the MoHA and its subordinate bodies were settled and the complaints beyond its jurisdictions were assigned to the concerned authorities. The helpline is also receiving complaints of bad road conditions, corruption, foreign employment fraud and land deal among others.