Delhi : The Delhi high court has imposed a fine of Rs 25,000 on the Centre for acting in an “unfair and callous manner” to deny passport to a man of Tibetan origin born in India Karma Gyaltsen Neryatsang’s passport was a withdrawn in 2012 by the passport office on the ground that his parents were of Tibetan origin and was required to acquire Indian citizenship before being granted any passport facilities. The HC reminded the Centre of its 2016 landmark verdict which ruled the nationality of Tibetans born in India between 1950 to1987 cannot be questioned under the Citizenship Act.
Neyratsang and his twin brother were born at Victoria Hospital in Darjeeling in1956. Their parents were of Tibetan origin. The birth of the twins was registered with the Darjeeling municipality in which the nationality of their parents is reflected as Indian. He was issued an Indian passport for the first time in 1983. However in 2012 his passport was revoked on allegations that he had obtained a passport by concealing his Tibetan identity.
The high court said the government has been shifting stand on why the passport was revoked. First, it was alleged Neyreatsang was a Tibetan national and had obtained the passports by concealing his nationality. Second, it was held he had willfully declared the nationality of his parents as Indian. Third, it was alleged the passport was obtained by suppression or wrong information. “clearly, there is no material to support the allegation that the petitioner is not an Indian national..plainly, the petitioner had acquired Indian citizenship by birth” the court remarked.