Wednesday Mar 29, 2023
Wednesday Mar 29, 2023

Lamichhane becomes stateless due to procedural fault in obtaining citizenship

2023 Jan 28, 10:41, Kathmandu
Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

The Chairperson of the Rastriya Swatantra Party (RSP), Rabi Lamichhane has turned stateless with today's decision of the Supreme Court (SC).

He turned to be stateless when the apex court did not recognize the citizenship he used the election time. He lost the positions of Deputy Prime Minister and Home Minister, Member of Parliament, and Chairperson of the RSP after he became stateless.

The SC verdict claimed there was no dispute in his act of renouncing his US citizenship in 2018 but he did not pay attention to retaining citizenship by completing the process after returning to Nepal.

According to Assistant Attorney General, Sanjeeb Raj Regmi, the apex court has concluded that Lamichhane was not found completing the due process for retaining citizenship to become a Nepali citizen though he had terminated his US citizenship.

He further said, "After giving up the citizenship, Lamichhane had to submit an application to the Chief District Officer requesting for re-acquisition of the citizenship after returning to Nepal. But, the process was not duly followed", he said, adding that his earlier citizenship was retained if the process was completed.

The SC has concluded that Lamichahne was not qualified to become the candidate for the member of the House of Representatives for not completing the process for retaining citizenship.

Senior Advocate Dr. Chandrakanta Gywali said the apex court concluded that Lamichahne did a procedural error in claiming citizenship. "He was no more a Nepali citizen in the situation he was still a US citizen. After renouncing foreign citizenship he had to complete a process for re-obtaining Nepali citizenship which includes submission of an application with the evidence of renouncement", Gyawali said. "Once the process was over, his previous citizenship would have been retained. This is a simple process, and also does not take time. Law has not adopted any policy to leave any citizen stateless", the senior advocate further said.

Deputy Prime Minister and Home Minister Lamichhane have announced his resignation from the post, respecting the apex court decision. He tendered his resignation noting that it was not appropriate to remain in any positions in the stateless status.

According to the legal provision, his citizenship can be retained after he applied to requisition of citizenship in Nepal with evidence of renouncement of the foreign citizenship.

It may be noted that the apex court has annulled Lamichhane's post as a lawmaker today. The constitutional bench of the Supreme Court issued the verdict in this regard after hearing the case on Lamichhane's acquisition of Nepali citizenship and a US passport.

The verdict read, "After giving up the US citizenship, Lamichhane was not found adhering to the legal process to acquire Nepali citizenship again. So, he did not deserve to be the candidate of the member of House of Representatives nor could hold the lawmaker's post. With this, a certiorari order is issued as per Article 133 (b and c) and Article 137 of the Constitution of Nepal by scrapping all activities such as making Lamichhane an election candidate, announcing his election victory, and conferring him the certificate."


Rabi Lamichhane procedural fault obtaining citizenship Rastriya Swatantra Party RSP Supreme Court SC House of Representatives Constitution of Nepal
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