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The Constitutional Reason For Sonia Gandhi Not Becoming The Pm

Dr. Subramanian Swami, then Chairman of the Janata Party, has often spoken on the question of the citizenship status of the Chairman of the UPA, Mrs. Sonia Gandhi, and also that Mrs. Sonia Gandhi was denied the post of PM in 2004 after writing a letter to the then President of India, Dr. Kalam, highlighting Section 5 of the 1955 Citizenship Act, which Dr. Swami concluded.

There was a press release from Rashtrapati Bhavan on 19th May 2004 stating that there was no issue as such (citizenship) that was discussed by the President and Mrs. Gandhi.

Section 5(1) (e) of The Citizenship Act 1955 states that:

A person of full age and capacity who are citizens of a country specified in Schedule I,

Provided that in prescribing the conditions and restrictions subject to which persons of any such country may be registered as citizens of India under this clause, the Central Government shall have due regard to the conditions subject to which citizens of India may, by law or practice of that country, become citizens of that country by registration.”

So now, the countries specified in Schedule I, are the common wealth countries and The Republic of Ireland. Therefore, the section 5(1) (e) of The Citizenship Act 1955 is applied only on the citizens of these countries.

Sonia Gandhi has been living in India since 1968 and eligible for citizenship by naturalisation as laid down in the Citizenship Law and Rules; however, she could only apply for citizenship when Section 5(1)(c) was introduced through an amendment into the Citizenship Act , 1955. The section 5 (1)(c) states that “persons who are, or have been, married to citizens of India and are ordinarily resident in India and have been so resident for five years immediately before making an application for registration”.

Also, Sonia Gandhi became the citizen of India in 1983 by naturalisation as provided for under Section 6 of the Citizenship Act, 1955. The Section 6 of the Citizenship Act, 1955 says, Citizenship by naturalisation:
  1. Where an application is made in the prescribed manner by any person of full age and capacity who is not a citizen of a country specified in Schedule I for the grant of a certificate of naturalization to him, the Central Government may, if satisfied that the applicant is qualified for naturalisation under the provisions of Schedule III, grant to him, a certificate of naturalisation.

    Provided that if, in the view of the Central Government, the applicant is a person who, in general, has rendered distinguished service to the cause of science , philosophy, art , literature, world peace or human development, he may waive all or any of the conditions set out in Third Schedule III.
  2. The person to whom a certificate of naturalisation is granted under sub-section (1) shall, on taking the oath of allegiance in the form specified in Schedule II, be a citizen of India by naturalisation as from the date on which that certificate is granted.

In April 1983, Mrs. Gandhi gained Indian Citizenship and handed over her Italian passport to their respective embassy. At the time (prior to 1 July 1992) the Italian Nationality Law did not allow dual citizenship. If any other country (India in this case) is naturalised by an Italian citizen, then the person automatically loses the Italian citizenship. Therefore, Sonia Gandhi has fulfilled all the conditions including that a person must have adequate knowledge of a language specified in the Eighth Schedule of the Constitution, with her more than adequate working knowledge of Hindi.

Accordingly, referring to the 1955 Citizenship Act, Mrs. Gandhi is a legal Indian citizen and has and can take advantage of all the privileges given to Indian citizens and can thus also become the Prime Minister of India.

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