Rights of Citizens – Article 5 to 11 of Indian Constitution

Article 5 to 11 under part II discuss the Citizenship. Being a democratic country, it offers only single citizenship to its residents. Constitution divides people into two categories – Citizens and aliens. Further Aliens fall into two categories – Friendly and Enemy. Citizen enjoys all full civil and political rights on other hand aliens are restricted with their rights.

What are Rights of Citizens?

(Denies to Aliens)

  • Right against discrimination (Article 15)
  • Right to equal opportunity in matter of employment (Article 16)
  • Freedom of Speech (Article 19)
  • Cultural and Education Rights (Article 29 & 30)
  • Right to Vote
  • Eligibility to hold certain public offices

Read Also: Constitution of India

Constitutional Provisions

Constitution declares that the people who were the resident of India at its commencement (i.e. 26th January 1950) will be treated as the citizen of India. It does not deal with the problem of acquisition or loss of citizenship after its commencement. It empowers the parliament to enact a law in such matter. So relating to this issue Parliament passed the Citizenship Act 1955.

According to constitution persons of four categories became the citizen of India in 1950:

  1. Persons domiciled in India (Article 5)
  2. Persons migrated from Pakistan (Article 6)
  3. Persons migrated to Pakistan but later returned (Article -7)
  4. Persons of Indian origin residing outside India (Article 8).
  5. Denial of citizenship in the case of foreign states’ citizenship. (Article -9)
  6. Every citizen must enjoy citizenship subject to the provisions of any law made by Parliament.(Article -10)
  7. Parliament has the power to revoke or amend any provision relating to citizenship. (Article – 11)

Citizenship Act 1955

It described five way of acquiring citizenship:

By Birth

  • Born in India on or after 26th January 1950 irrespective of their parent’s nationality.
  • Born on or after 1st July 1987 – Either of his parents is a citizen of India at the time of Birth
  • Born on or after 3rd December 2004 – Either of Parents is a citizen of India and the second parent must not be an illegal migrant.

The children of foreign diplomats posted in India and enemy aliens cannot acquire Indian citizenship by birth.

By Descent

  • After 26th January 1950 – Born outside India if father was citizen
  • After 10th December 1992 – Either of Parent is Citizen
  • After 3rd December 2004 – Person born outside India – Must file an application within one year of birth condition to that minor does not hold passport off any other nation.

By Registration (Not illegal migrant) for application must fulfill –

  • An ordinary resident for seven years.
  • A person of Indian origin who is ordinarily resident in any country or place outside undivided India.
  • Married to the Indian citizen and should be a resident for seven years.
  • Minor children of persons who are citizens of India

By Naturalization

By Incorporation of Territory

If any foreign territory becomes a part of India, the Government of India specifies the individuals who among the people of the territory shall be the citizens of India. E.g. Pondicherry.

The Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016

  • The Bill amends the Citizenship Act, 1955 to make illegal migrants who are Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis and Christians from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, and Pakistan, eligible for citizenship.
  • The Bill amends the Citizenship Act, 1955 to make illegal migrants who are Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis and Christians from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, and Pakistan, eligible for citizenship.

Loss of Citizenship

  1. By Renunciation Declaration by the person himself.
  2. By Termination On acquiring other citizenship, his/her Indian citizenship terminates automatically.
  3. By Deprivation In the case of fraud acquisition of nationality or any disloyalty to constitution or country or any person citizen by registration or naturalization who imprisoned in any country for two years. Or citizen residing outside country for seven years, citizenship will be terminated.


Single Citizenship

Constitution of India provides Single nationality and uniform rights to its Citizens like that of Canada. USA and Switzerland have adopted for Dual Citizenship. In India, all the citizen are provided with same political and civil rights. But there are few exceptional cases:

  1. Under Article – 16 Parliament can set state or union territory as a condition for Employment.
  2. Article – 15 does not guarantee discrimination on the ground of residence. So it provides the opportunity to state govt. To offer the concession in fees for education to its residents.
  3. Article 19 give the right to movement and residence subject to some restriction regarding tribal areas to protect their culture and customs.
  4. In the case of J&K, it has right to define permanent residents.

Know more About the Indian States