The Allahabad High Court on Wednesday dismissed with costs a PIL for revocation of citizenship of Kanhaiya Kumar, former President of the Students' Union, JNU, in connection to the 2016 Sedition Case.
The Bench of Justices SK Gupta and Shamim Ahmed noted that the plea had been filed with the sole motive of gaining "cheap publicity" without even going through the provisions relating to deprivation of Citizenship.
"Valuable time of this Court, which is functioning in its limited strength, during the period of the pandemic, has been wasted by filing the present writ petition. Intention of the petitioner, in our opinion, is not to espouse the interest of the public, but only of his own self, by gaining publicity. Such conduct is highly condemnable."
It therefore directed the Petitioner to pay a cost of Rs. 25,000/- in favour of the Registrar General, High Court Allahabad within a period of 30 days, which shall be remitted to the HC Advocates' Association.
In February 2016, a FIR was registered against Kumar and others for the offence of sedition and criminal conspiracy, for raising anti national slogans during an event that took place in JNU campus in February that year. A charge sheet in the matter was filed by the Delhi Police last year.
The Petitioner herein had submitted that he was constrained to approach the Court as the Central Government did not take any action to terminate Kumar's Citizenship, despite his raising anti-national slogans.
"Kanhaiya Kumar and his associates are supporting the freedom struggle of terrorist groups who are working on the instigation of Pakistan to destabilize the unity and disturb the peace and tranquility of our country," the Petitioner alleged.
He had urged the Court to direct the Government to cancel Kumar's citizenship under Section 10 (2) of the Indian Citizenship Act, 1955.
Section 10 provides for deprivation of citizenship of a citizen of India who is such by naturalisation or by virtue only of Article 5(c) of the Constitution or by registration otherwise than under Article 6 (b) (ii) of the Constitution or Section 5 (1) (a) of the Citizenship Act.
Notably, Kanhaiya Kumar does not fall in any of the abovementioned categories of citizenship as he is was born in India. Therefore, he is a citizen of India by virtue of Article 5(a) of Constitution.
In view of the above the Court observed thus:
"From the perusal of the record, it appears that the learned counsel for the petitioner before filing the present writ petition has neither gone through the provisions of Constitution of India nor The Indian Citizenship Act, 1955.
A bare reading of Section 10 of The Indian Citizenship Act, 1955 and the relevant provisions i.e. Article 5 to 11 of Constitution of India contained in Part II of the Constitution of India dealing with the citizenship clearly indicates that the provision for depriving the citizenship can be invoked only against those persons who have become citizen of India by naturalisation or by virtue only of clause (c) of Article 5 of the Constitution of India or by registration otherwise than under clause (b) (ii) of Article 6 of the Constitution of India or clause (a) of sub-section (1) of section 5 of this Act. Such persons shall cease to be citizens of India, if they are deprived of their citizenships by an order of the Central Government under this section.
In the present case, admittedly, the Respondent No. 3, Kanhaiya Kumar was born in the territory of India, as such, by virtue of Article 5(a) of Constitution of India, he is a citizen of India.
Thus in view of the above Respondent No. 3, cannot be deprived of his citizenship, in as much as he has not become a citizen of India by naturalisation or by virtue only of clause (c) of Article 5 of the Constitution of India or by registration as provided under sub section (1) of Section 10."
Case Title: Nageshwar Mishra v. Union of India & Ors.
Case No.: PIL No. 801/2020
Quorum: Justice SK Gupta and Justice Shamim Ahmed
Appearance: Advocate Shailesh Kumar Tripathi (for Petitioner)