INDIAN AND PAKISTANI RESIDENTS (CITIZENSHIP) act

Arrangement of Sections

1. Short title.

2. Acquisition of citizenship by registration under this Act.

3. Application of Act.

4. Scope of privilege conferred by this Act.

5. Time-limit for exercise of privilege.

6. Condition of allowing applications.

7. Applications.

8. Verification of application.

9. Registration of widow or children of deceased applicant.

10. Refusal of application.

11. Notice calling for objections.

12. Application to be allowed in the absence of objections.

13. Inquiry into objections.

14. Power of Commissioner to hold inquiry of his own motion.

15. Provisions as to inquiries.

16. Appeals.

17. Registration and issue of certificate and notification.

18. Status of persons who are registered under this Act and have subscribed the oath or affirmation of citizenship.

19. Administrative arrangements.

20. Exemption from stamp duties.

21. Service of documents.

22. Regulations.

23. Retrospective effect of amendments.

24. Interpretation.

3 of 1949,

37 of 1950,

45 of 1952.

AN ACT to make provision for granting the status of a Citizen of Ceylon by registration to Indians and Pakistanis who have the qualification of past Residence in Ceylon for a certain minimum period.

[Date of Commencement: 5th August, 1949]

1. Short title.

This Act may be cited as the Indian and Pakistani Residents (Citizenship) Act.

2. Acquisition of citizenship by registration under this Act.

Notwithstanding anything in any other law, an Indian or Pakistani resident to whom this Act applies may be granted the status of a citizen of Ceylon by registration, upon the conditions and in the manner prescribed by this Act.

3. Application of Act.

(1) This Act shall, subject to the provisions of section 4, apply solely to those Indian or Pakistani residents in Ceylon who are possessed of the special residential qualification, which in each case shall consist—

(a) in the first instance, of uninterrupted residence in Ceylon, immediately prior to the 1st day of January, 1946, for a period not less than the appropriate minimum period hereinafter specified; and

(b) secondly, of uninterrupted residence in Ceylon from the aforesaid day to the date of the application made in that case for registration under this Act.

(2) The appropriate minimum period of uninterrupted residence required by paragraph (a) of subsection (1) shall—

(a) in the case of a person who is unmarried at the date of his application for registration, or in the case of a married person whose marriage has been dissolved by death or divorce prior to that date, be a period of ten years; and

(b) in the case of any married person (not being a married person referred to in paragraph (a) of this subsection), be a period of seven years.

(3) For the purposes of this Act, the continuity of residence of an Indian or Pakistani resident shall be deemed to have been uninterrupted notwithstanding his absence from Ceylon for any period—

(a) if he was, during that period, in the employment of the Government of Ceylon and resident in another country for the purposes of such employment; or

(b) if, having become while in Ceylon a member or an employee of any of Her Majesty's forces, he was during that period on service in any other country as such member or employee.

(4) For the purposes of this Act and without prejudice to the provisions of subsection (3), the continuity of residence of an Indian or Pakistani in Ceylon shall, notwithstanding his occasional absence from Ceylon, be deemed to have been uninterrupted if, but only if, such absence did not on any one occasion exceed twelve months in duration.

4. Scope of privilege conferred by this Act.

(1) Any Indian or Pakistani resident to whom this Act applies may, irrespective of age or sex, exercise the privilege of procuring registration as a citizen of Ceylon for himself or herself, and shall be entitled to make application therefor in the manner hereinafter prescribed:

Provided that any such Indian or Pakistani resident, being either—

(i) a married woman who is not living apart from her husband in accordance with a duly executed deed of separation or a decree of separation pronounced by a competent court; or

(ii) a minor who is dependent on his father or on his widowed or unmarried mother,

shall not exercise the aforesaid privilege independently of the husband or of the father or the mother, as the case may be, or be entitled to make a separate application for registration.

(2) In the exercise of the aforesaid privilege—

(a) a male Indian or Pakistani resident, if he is married, may procure, in addition to his own registration, the registration of his lawful wife (whether or not she is herself possessed of the special residential qualification) or of any legitimate minor child born to him of that or any previous marriage or any minor child borne by his wife prior to that marriage, who may be ordinarily resident in Ceylon and dependent on him; and

(b) a female Indian or Pakistani resident to whom the proviso to subsection (1) does not apply, if she is herself possessed of the special residential qualification, may procure, in addition to her own registration, the registration of any minor child of hers who may be ordinarily resident in Ceylon and dependent on her.

(3) Where any Indian Pakistani resident has died after acquiring the qualification specified in paragraph (a) of section 3 (1) and while continuing to have uninterrupted residence in Ceylon as defined in section 3 (4) from the 1st day of January, 1946, until the date of his death, the privilege that such Indian or Pakistani resident might, if alive, have exercised under this Act, shall be extended to each person whose registration such Indian or Pakistani resident could have procured under subsection (2), and may accordingly be exercised—

(a) in any case where such Indian or Pakistani resident was a male, by his widow (notwithstanding that she may herself not be possessed of the special residential qualification) and by each legitimate minor child of his who is not dependent on the widow if at the time of his death the widow was not living apart from him in accordance with a duly executed deed of separation or decree of separation pronounced by a competent court or such child was ordinarily resident in Ceylon and dependent on him, and if such widow or child has continued to be resident in Ceylon after his death to the date of any application for registration that such widow or child may decide to make under this Act; and

(b) in any case where such Indian or Pakistani resident was a female, by each minor child of hers, if such child was ordinarily resident in Ceylon and dependent on her at the time of her death and has continued to be resident in Ceylon after her death to the date of application as aforesaid.

The privilege extended to a widow or a minor by the preceding provisions of this subsection is hereinafter referred to as "the extended privilege”.

(4) No application purporting to be made under this Act by any person, other than an Indian or Pakistani resident entitled to exercise the privilege or a widow or a minor entitled to exercise the extended privilege herein before referred to, shall be entertained in any circumstances or on any ground whatsoever.

5. Time-limit for exercise of privilege.

The privilege or extended privilege conferred by this Act shall be exercised in every case before the expiry of a period of two years reckoned from the appointed date; and no application made after the expiry of that period shall be accepted or entertained, whatsoever the cause of the delay.

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