Tibetans can surrender Indian passports without penalty said an official according to a recent report in the Hindustan Times. Since the high court ruling allowing the Tibetans born in India between January 26, 1950 and July 1, 1987 be treated as Indian citizens by birth and permitted for seeking Indian passports.
“If a Tibetan refugee wants to surrender (passport), they can do it without facing any trouble, including any penalty, and they will be then issued their identity certificate,” said an official according to the report in Hindustan Times, the government decided in the wake of many requests for cancellation of Indian passports from Tibetans.
The Government of India has ordered all the passports offices across the country and abroad to issue Indian passports to Tibetan refugees. Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) following the direction of Delhi High court decided to issue Indian passports to all eligible Tibetans born on India between 26/01/1950 to 01/07/1987.
However, following the above ruling, the MEA’s office issued conditions for the Tibetans applying for the Indian passport.
- Tibetans should surrender the Registration/refugee certificate (RC) and Identity Certificate (IC) which are their stay permit in India and the travel document respectively.
- A Tibetan applying for an India passport should to be living in any of the Tibetan settlements across India. Availing a passport on this addressed has and will render them ineligible.
- The Tibetan shall not be allowed to receive any benefits from the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA), the headquarter of the exile Tibetan administration based in Dharamshala.
- The Tibetan should not be taking the privileges and subsidies of being an RC holder and should have surrender all such benefits being enjoyed.
According to the report, a few hundred Tibetans have been issued Indian Passports under the law and recently in the wake of requests from Tibetans to cancel their Indian passports to seek the Identity Certificates and Registration Certificates issued to Tibetan Refugees by Indian government, the government decided to ease the process. These documents entitle them for the benefits and privileges from the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA) based in Dharamsala in Himachal Pradesh.
“There are some cases where a passport holder who also kept the IC. That is against the rule. They can opt for either of the document. There was never any talk of any penalty,” said another official according to the report. India is the based of Tibetan Exile community where almost 1.5 hundred thousand Tibetans are said to be living in various settlements allotted by the Indian government.