The Appellate Court, Nepalgunj on Wednesday directed the Banke District Administration Office and its Chief District Officer (CDO) to grant citizenship certificate to 22-year-old Barsha Sharma through her mother’s name.
Barsha’s father had passed away in 2007 before she could be eligible to apply for citizenship. Since her mother, Bijayalakshmi, had obtained her citizenship by descent (and not by marriage), the CDO had refused to recognise Barsha as the biological daughter of Manish.
Although the Citizenship Act of 2006 and the Interim Constitution of 2007 allow an individual to apply for citizenship through mother’s name, CDOs in many districts refuse to grant citizenship through mother’s name on grounds that the father could be a foreign national.
Without citizenship, Barsha had been unable to open a bank account, apply for civil service positions or purchase land.
“The decision by the appellate court has given me the justice I sought,” said Barsha.
Few people in Banke district have received citizenships on the matrilineal basis. In 2012/2013, 13 individuals received proofs of nationality through their mothers’ names.