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"On my part, I remain committed to the process of dialogue. It is my firm belief that dialogue and a willingness to look with honesty and clarity at the reality of Tibet can lead us to a viable solution."

Court grants citizenship to woman of Tibetan parentage

December 30, 2010

Harish V Nair, Hindustan Times

NEW DELHI, December 28, 2010

First Published: 00:33 IST(28/12/2010)

For Namgyal Dolkar, it was victory after a legal battle of a year and
three months. Born in Delhi 24 years ago to a Tibetan refugee couple,
Dolkar was denied an Indian passport by the Delhi regional passport
officer on the grounds that she was not a citizen.

The Delhi high court, declaring Dolkar an Indian citizen, said it found
the reasons for denial wrong and unjustifiable. The court also imposed a
fine of R5,000 on the Ministry of External Affairs for denying her passport.

In a letter dated September 1, 2009, the passport officer had informed
Dolkar that it was MEA’s decision not to issue her a passport, as she
could not be treated as an Indian national under the citizenship act.

However, justice S Muralidhar found merit in the argument of Dolkar’s
lawyer Roxna Swamy that according to the Citizenship (Amendment) Act
1986, enacted on November 28 that year, every person born in India
before the amendment was an Indian citizen. “The petitioner was born in
India on April 13, 1986, that is after January 26, 1950, and before July
1, 1987, (when 1986 amendment was notified), and is an Indian citizen by
birth. She cannot, therefore, be denied a passport,” said justice

The court, in fact, wondered why the passport office denied her passport
when the provisions in the law clearly stated that the person born
between the two dates was an Indian citizen by birth. The judge said she
was an Indian citizen by all means. The ruling is set to benefit many of
those born in India to parents who are foreign citizens. Dolkar’s
parents were both born in Tibet.
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