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High Court notice on Goa lawmaker's plea over citizenship

Monday, 2 December 2013 - 11:30pm IST | Agency: IANS

The Delhi High Court Monday issued notice to the union home ministry and the Goa government on a plea by a Goa lawmaker who has challenged the ministry's decision holding him to be a Portuguese national and cancelling his Indian citizenship.

Justice V.K. Jain sought response from the central and the Goa governments by Jan 6.

Caetano R. Silva, a member of the Goa Vikas Party, had moved the high court saying the central government had Nov 20 issued orders to cancel his citizenship on the basis of a complaint that alleged he had voluntarily taken up Portuguese citizenship.

He said he had never applied for Portuguese citizenship.

Silva, who represents Benaulim, alleged that the government took the decision on the basis of unverified documents submitted in a complaint by his political rival who had lost to him in the Goa assembly elections.

He said he was held to be a Portuguese national merely on the basis of a letter received from the Indian embassy in Lisbon that his birth was allegedly registered there in 2010.

Seeking that the order be set aside, Silva contended that the order was passed on the basis of a document from the Lisbon government that a person named Roberto Silva was registered with the Central Register of Births in 2010.

The plea added that there was nothing to prove that the person who had applied for citizenship was the same person.

It added that the birth certificate registered in Portugal in 2010 is not related to him as his birth was registered in Goa in 1952.

A complaint was filed in January this year with the union home ministry that alleged that Silva registered his birth with the Lisbon government in 2010, and renounced Indian citizenship.

Silva argued that he was an Indian citizen and was issued a new Indian passport valid till Jan 6, 2018.

Silva, born Oct 21, 1959, in Benaulim, Goa (then a colony of Portugal), said his birth was registered under the Code of Civil Registration of 1912, in force in Goa, Daman, Diu and in Dadra and Nagar Haveli.

Under the provisions of the Goa, Daman, Diu (Citizenship) Order, 1962, the residents of these territories born before December 1961 could choose to retain Portuguese citizenship after the territories were liberated from Portuguese control in 1961.


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