Ghaurul Hasan & Ors Vs. The State of
Rajasthan  INSC 141 (5 April 1961)
SINHA, BHUVNESHWAR P.(CJ) DAS, S.K.
GUPTA, K.C. DAS AYYANGAR, N. RAJAGOPALA
CITATION: 1967 AIR 107 1962 SCR (1) 772
Citizenship-Order of registration by
Collector-Cancellation of such order by him-Validity of
cancellation-Citizenship Act, 1955 (57 of 1955), ss. 5(1)(a), 10(2)(a).
The petitioners were granted certificates of
registration as Indian Citizens under s. 5(1)(a) of the Citizenship Act, 955,
by the Collector of Nagaur. Later the Collector passed orders canceling the
certificates. The power to cancel was based on 773 S. 10 (2)(a) Of the Citizenship
Act, 1955, and S. 21 Of the General Clauses Act, 1897.
Held, that S. 10(2(a) of the Citizenship Act,
1955, had no application for, apart from any other considerations, that section
could apply only where the registration was obtained by means of fraud, false
representation or concealment of any material fact and no such thing had been
The Collector had no power under S. 21 of the
General Clauses Act, 1897, either to cancel the order of registration as
citizens which had been made by him since the orders mentioned in that section
are not of the kind contemplated by S. 5 Of the Citizenship Act.
The orders canceling the registration are set
ORIGINAL JURISDICTION: Writ Petition No. 60
Writ Petition under Art. 32 of the
Constitution of India for enforcement of Fundamental Rights.
H. J. Umrigar and A. G. Ratnaparkhi, for the
S. K. Kapoor and P. Gupta, for the
1961. April 5. The Judgment of the Court was
delivered by SARKAR, J.-The petitioners were born in India before the
commencement of the Constitution. Sometime in 1947, they went away to the
territory since included in Pakistan. They used to come to India from time to
time and the last time that they came, was in April, 1956. Each time they came
to India, they did so on passports issued by the Government of Pakistan.
In December., 1956, they applied to the
Collector of Nagaur in Rajasthan where they resided, for registration as
citizens of India. On December 19, 1956, the Collector of Nagaur issued
certificates of registration to them under s. 5(l)(a) of the Citizenship Act,
1955. Subsequently on February 5, 1957, two of the petitioners made
applications for grant of citizenship certificates to their minor children
under s. 5(l)(d) of that Act. On February 6, 1957, an officer of the
Collectorate of Nagaur took back the registration certificates issued to
petitioners Nos. 2 and 3 on the 774 representation that they were required for
recording in them the names of the minor children for whose registration as
citizens of India applications had been made. On February 8, 1957, notices were
issued by the Collector of Nagaur canceling the registration certificates
issued to the petitioners and directing them to return to Pakistan within three
The petitioners have presented this petition
for a writ quashing the order of the Collector of Nagaur canceling their
registration as citizens of, and requiring them to leave, India. The
respondents to this petition originally were the State of Rajasthan and the
Collector of Nagaur.
Subsequently, under our order notice of the
petition was given to the Union of India and the Union has appeared.
The only question is whether the cancellation
of the registration of the petitioners as citizens of India, was valid. It was
said on behalf of the respondents that the Collector had power to cancel the
registration under s. 10(2)(a) of the Act. That provision states, amongst other
things, that the Central Government may by order deprive certain citizens of
India of their citizenship "if it is satisfied that the registration was
obtained by means of fraud, false representation or concealment of any material
fact". The petitioners" answer to this contention was that the
cancellation of their registration was not by the Central Government but by the
Collector. They also contended that their registration as citizens could not be
cancelled under sub-sec. (2) of s. 10. They pointed out that subsection (2)
started with the words "Subject to the provisions of this section"
and contended that the powers under that subsection could, therefore, be
exercised subject to the other provisions of s. 10. They then referred to
sub-sec. (l) of s. 1.0 which so far as relevant provided, "A citizen of
India who is such by registration otherwise than under cl. (a) of sub-section
(1) of s. 5 of this Act shall cease to be a citizen of India if he is deprived
of that citizenship by an order of the Central Government under this
section". They contended that they became citizens of India by
registration under s. 5(l)(a) of the Act and 775 they could not be deprived of
their citizenship under sub- section (2) of s. 10.
On the facts of this case it is unnecessary
to express any opinion on these contentions. In any event, under cl. (a) of
sub-section (2) of s. 10 a citizen can be deprived of his citizenship only if
it is proved that the registration was obtained by means of fraud, false
representation or concealment of any material fact. This power cannot,
therefore, be exercised unless such fraud, false representation or suppression
of a material fact exists. It was contended by the respondents that the petitioners
had obtained registration as citizens of India by suppressing the fact that
they had earlier applied to the Government of India for long term visas for
permanent settlement in India which had been refused by that Government. The
making of the previous applications and their rejection are no doubt material
facts. The contention however that these facts were concealed is clearly
unfounded. It has been proved to our satisfaction by the production of the
original applications for registration made. by the petitioners that they had
mentioned the fact that their applications for permission to settle permanently
in India had been rejected by the Government. As we understood learned counsel
for the respondents, he also accepted this position.
The only other point that was taken by the
respondents was that the Collector having the power to grant the registration
certificate under the Citizenship Act had by virtue of s. 21 of the General
Clauses Act, and apart from s. 10(2) of the Citizenship Act, the power to
cancel it. We are entirely unable to agree that a. 21 conferred on the
Collector any such power. The orders mentioned in that section are not orders
of the kind contemplated in s. 5 of the Citizenship Act.
It seems to us therefore that the orders
canceling the registration of the petitioners as citizens were wholly illegal
and unsupportable and they are accordingly set aside. The petitioners will be
entitled to the costs of this application.