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Who is an Indian Citizen and what are the advantages of Indian Citizenship?

Part II of the Indian Constitution under Article 5, deals with the concept of Indian Citizenship. It defines various categories of Indian Citizenship at the commencement of Indian Constitution. By virtue of Article 5 of the Constitution of India;

Indian Citizenship is classified under three categories viz.

Citizenship by domicile

At the commencement of this Constitution every person who has his domicile in the territory of India and (a) who was born in the territory of India; or (b) either of whose parents was born in the territory of India; or (c) who has been ordinarily resident in the territory of India for not less than five years preceding such commencement, shall be a citizen of India.

Citizenship by migration

Notwithstanding anything in Article 5, a person who has migrated to the territory of India from the territory now included in Pakistan shall be deemed to be a citizen of India at the commencement of this Constitution if;
  1. he or either of his parents or any of his grandparents was born in India as defined in the Government of India Act, 1935; and
  2. in the case where such person has so migrated before July 19, 1948 , he has been ordinarily resident in the territory of India since the date of his migration, or
  3. in the case where such person has so migrated on or after July 19, 1948 , he has been registered as a citizen of India by an officer appointed in that behalf by the Government of the Dominion of India on an application made by him therefor to such officer before the commencement of this Constitution in the form and manner prescribed by that Government:

Provided that no person shall be so registered unless he has been resident in the territory of India or at least six months immediately preceding the date of his application.

Notwithstanding anything in Articles 5 and 6, a person who has after March 1, 1947, migrated from the territory of India to the territory now included in Pakistan shall not be deemed to be a citizen of India: Provided that nothing in this article shall apply to a person who, after having so migrated to the territory now included in Pakistan, has returned to the territory of India under a permit for resettlement or permanent return issued by or under the authority of any law and every such person shall for the purposes of clause (b) of Article 6 be deemed to have migrated to the territory of India after July 19, 1948.

Citizenship by registration

Those overseas persons of Indian Origin who were not domiciled in India at the commencement of the Indian Constitution as required under Article 5 of the Constitution of India, if;
  1. Such a person or either of his parents or grandparents were born in India; and
  2. He had registered himself as a Citizen of India with the Indian Consular OR Diplomatic Mission at the overseas country where he was at that time.

Advantages of Indian Citizenship

Indian Citizens alone have the right to hold certain high offices such as President of India, Vice-President of India, Governor of Indian States and Union Territories, Judges of Supreme Court of India and High Courts of various States, Attorney General and Advocate General.


The right to vote and elect members to the Union (Lok Sabha) and State Legislatures are researched only to the Citizens. Similarly, only an Indian Citizen can become a member of Union (Both Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha) or State Legislature (Both Legislative Assembly and Vidhan Sabha).

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