Wednesday 16 December 2020 10:39 PM UTC
BENGALURU Dec 16: Students holding Overseas Citizens of India (OCI) cards should be treated as Indian citizens for the purpose of admission to professional courses and they are entitled to admission under the state quota, the Karnataka high court has stated, Times of India reported.
The court observation came while disposing of a batch of petitions by students and a writ appeal by the state government.
A division bench comprising Justices BV Nagarathna and NS Sanjay Gowda has pointed out that when the issue pertains to citizenship, the state law must yield to the Citizenship Act, the central legislation enacted by Parliament.
The high court has said the petitioners were minors at the time of filing of petitions and had the benefit of a dual citizenship.
The court said the petitioners had the benefit of a dual citizenship being conferred on account of their birth in a foreign country (citizenship of that country where the birth had occurred) and also citizenship of India as per section 4(1A) of Citizenship Act, a right particularly conferred on minors so as to safeguard and protect their interests until they attain full age.
“We would like to remind ourselves of the ancient Indian thought – ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam’, which means ‘the world is a family’. Therefore, the minor children of Indian citizens born overseas must have the same status, rights and duties as Indian citizens, who are minor,” the bench said. The court quashed Section 2(1)(N) of the Karnataka Professional Educational Institutions (Regulation of Admission & Determination of Fee) Act, 2006, (amended in 2017) to the extent it sought to include OCI cardholders within the definition of nonresident Indian category.
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