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
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
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:
- 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.
- 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.