Following about a year after the Delhi High Court ordered the Government of India to issue Indian passports to all eligible Tibetans, the court in response to a petition filed by some Tibetans ordered the government to immediately formulate a process for the surrender of Tibetan RC & IC so that they can apply for Indian passport.
“The Delhi High Court has ordered the Government of India to take immediate action to streamline their procedures for processing the passport applications of Tibetans who are entitled to Indian citizenship by birth.” said the report by Tibetan journalist Lobsang Wangyal on Thursday.
Five Tibetans namely, Karma Dhondup, Sonam Chodon, Kalsang Dickyi, Tsering Topden and Tempa Rapjyal who have been facing difficulty in surrendering their Tibetan RC (Registration Certificate issued by Government of India to Tibetan refugees for residing in the country) and ICs (Identity Certificate or Yellow Book issued by Government of India as a travel document to Tibetan refugees) appealed the Delhi High Court.
“Within a period of three days, the entire process would be streamlined and shall be put on the website so that such citizens are not constrained to repeatedly approach this Court.” government counsel Mr Rajesh Gogna assured in response to the petition brought to to Justice Vibhu Bakhru.
MEA in an earlier notice directed all passport-issuing authorities in India and abroad, subject to the usual checks and other passport formalities, “shall process all the pending applications of Tibetan refugee applicants born in India between 26/01/1950 to 01/07/1987, for the issue of passports treating them as the Indian citizens by birth under Section 3(1)(a) of the Citizenship Act, 1955.
However, due to lack of clear guideline for Tibetans and the authorities on how to surrender the RCs and ICs issued to them, Tibetans have not been able to find a solution which in turn led to the passport offices to refuse to issue passports to the eligible Tibetan refugees. The advocate pleading in the name of the Tibetans explained in the report that once the government publishes the new procedures, Tibetans shouldn’t face any undue problems.