Goa MLA nationality case: HC seeks response of Centre, Goa

Last Updated: Monday, December 2, 2013 - 20:49

New Delhi: The Delhi High Court on Monday sought response from the Centre and Goa government on a plea of an MLA from the state who has challenged Home Ministry`s decision to revoke his Indian citizenship by holding him to be a Portugese national.
Justice V K Jain sought replies and counter affidavits of all stakeholder before January 6, the next date of hearing on the petition of Caetano R Silva, an MLA of Goa Vikas Party which claims to support the state`s ruling BJP party from outside.

Meanwhile, the counsel for the person, on whose complaint the Home Ministry (MHA) had enquired into the nationality of Silva and had held him to be a Portuguese citizen, said that if there is any imminent threat of deportation of the MLA, his plea seeking protection will not be opposed.

Silva has in his plea contended he has never applied for Portugese citizenship but was held to be a national of that country merely on the basis of a letter received from Indian Embassy there that his birth was allegedly registered there in 2010.

The letter was received in response to a query made by MHA to the Indian Embassy in Lisbon, based on a complaint it got that Silva is not an Indian national.

There is an election petition pending in the Supreme Court on the issue of whether Silva can continue to be an MLA.

Silva has raised the question whether "he can be deemed to have acquired Portugese citizenship on the basis of the purported registration of his birth on April 9, 2010 under Portugese Organic Law of 2006".

He has claimed that the enquiry was conducted against him on a complaint made at the behest of the person who had lost to him in the state assembly election.

He has also alleged the enquiry was one-sided and against the basic tenets of principles of natural justice as he has not even been shown the letter.

Silva has further contended that the birth certificate registered in Portugal in 2010 does not pertain to him as his birth was registered in Goa in 1952.

PTI


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