Ministry of Home Affairs has said that writer and journalist Aatish Taseer is ineligible for getting an OCI (Overseas Citizen of India) card, as he had concealed the fact that his father was of Pakistani origin. The ministry also rebutted a Print report alleging that the union government is considering revoking Taseer’s OCI card after he had criticised Modi government in an article published in the Time magazine.
In a series of tweets posted by the official Twitter handle of the spokesperson of Home Ministry, the ministry said that the Print article is devoid of any facts. The spokesperson tweeted that while submitting the PIO (Person of Indian Origin) application, Aatish Taseer had concealed the fact that his late father was of Pakistani origin. Taseer was given the opportunity to submit his reply/objections regarding his PIO/OCI cards, but he failed to dispute the notice. “Thus, Mr. Aatish Ali Taseer becomes ineligible to hold an OCI card, as per the Citizenship Act, 1955. He has clearly not complied with very basic requirements and hidden information,” the MHA said.
As per section 7A(1) of the Citizenship Act, 1955, OCI card is issued to those people who are citizens of another country, but previously were Indian citizens at any point of time in past after the Indian constitution came into effect, or were eligible to become India citizen, or children of such persons.
This section 7A(1) specifically states that if any person or either of their parents or grandparents or great grandparents is or had been a citizen of Pakistan, Bangladesh or any other country as notified by the government, such persons would not be eligible for getting the OCI status.
Moreover, section 4 of the citizenship act, which deals with citizenship of persons born outside India, has the following provisions: for persons born between 26th January 1950 and 10th December 1992, a person born outside India will be eligible for Indian citizenship if such person’s father was an Indian citizen at the time of birth. For persons born after 10th December 1992, if either of the parents is Indian citizen than the person can get Indian citizenship.
Aatish Taseer was born in London on 27th November 1980. His father was Pakistani politician and businessman Salmaan Taseer, while his mother is Indian journalist Tavleen Singh. As Aatish was born outside India before 10 December 1992, he becomes ineligible to become an Indian citizen as per section 4 of the Citizenship Act, 1955, because his father was Pakistani citizen at the time of his birth in UK. If he was born after that date in 1992, he would be eligible for Indian citizenship as his mother is Indian.
Aatish Ali Taseer’s father was Pakistani citizen, he was never an Indian citizen, and was never eligible to become Indian citizen as per law, therefore he is not eligible to obtain the OIC card as per the provisions of the Citizenship Act, 1955.