MHA Rejects Khobragade's Petition of Dual Citizenship for Kids

New Delhi
MHA Rejects Khobragade's Petition of Dual Citizenship for Kids
MHA Rejects Khobragade's Petition of Dual Citizenship for Kids

The Home Ministry has rejected IFS officer Devyani Khobragade's plea of dual citizenship for her children, who are American nationals, saying Indian law does not allow this.

Khobragade, who was arrested in the US in 2013 when she was India's Deputy Consul-General in New York on visa fraud charges, had approached the Home Ministry officials recently and requested them to consider her plea of dual citizenship for her two daughters.

"We have conveyed to Khobragade that her children are not eligible for dual citizenship and hence her plea cannot be processed," a senior Home Ministry official said.

Her daughters were born in India but took US citizenship as Khobragade's husband is an American national. The IFS officer is accused of suppressing this fact to her employer (Ministry of External Affairs). The children had Indian passport too.

After coming to know that Khobragade's daughters were having US passport, the MEA had revoked the children's Indian passports and they challenged this in the Delhi High Court.

Government took the action as the provision of dual citizenship is only applicable to those children who were born outside India and as Khobragade's daughters were born in Mumbai, they are not covered by this provision.

Children of foreign diplomats, who are born in India, are also given dual citizenship till the period of their parents' service in India.

Government had recently told the Delhi High Court that Khobragade obtained US and Indian passports for her two daughters in violation of law and without informing the MEA, which raises serious questions about her "trustworthiness and integrity".

"Devyani Khobragade's submission that the US passports were only used for travel to USA does not in any way dilute the gravity and seriousness of her misdemeanour and are blatant violations of Indian Passports Act," it had said.

The IFS officer's father Uttam Khobragade too wrote a letter to the Home Ministry with the request to consider the plea of dual citizenship for his grand daughters.

The senior Khobragade even conveyed to the Home Ministry that its stand on the issue was "shocking", an official said, and termed the tone of his letter "very harsh".

The Home Ministry officials have suggested to Devyani that she can apply for the Overseas Citizenship of India card for her daughters.

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