This Article is written by Yash Dodani, NALSAR University Hyderabad. He has provided a detailed analysis of the topic. 


The basic notion of the tort law in India is based on the tort presidents developed in the English Common Law. The laws in English Courts are based on the notions of justice, equity and good conscience. Derived from the Latin term ‘negligentia’ which means ‘failing to picl up’. The term in its general sense means to be careless while performing any activity/work, but in a legal sense, the term means that a person has failed to take standard care while performing their work which a reasonable man should have kept in mind. The concept of Negligence in English law was developed in the 18th century as an independent cause of action in the courts. However, in India, there was no concept of Negligence until 1870 when the colonial government amended the Indian Penal Code and brought section 304A which deals with death by Negligence. Until then there was no concept of negligence in Indian Law. 


According to Winfield and Jolowicz, Negligence is the breach of a legal duty of care by the plaintiff which results in undesired damage to the plaintiff. It was further given shape in Blyth v Birmingham Water Works Co.[i] negligence was defined as an omission to do something which a reasonable man would do in the condition or doing something which a reasonable man would not do had he been in the same situation. 

The concept of Negligence can be classified into three broad categories given under;

Nonfeasance: it literally means that a person has failed to do something which he should have done in a particular situation and in the demand of time. For example, a contractor has not done repairs on a particular building and because of that reason, the people are injured due to falling down of some parts of the building. 

Misfeasance: it includes doing a thing which should be done but not doing it in a proper way. Taking the same example as above, now the contractor has started to do the repairs in a building but using a poor quality of material to do the repairs and hence bringing a danger of collapse of the building

Malfeasance: it refers to the very act which should not be done in the first place in the course of any work which he is doing. Again, taking the same example, if now the contractor is using the material which is not allowed by the law to carry out repairs of any building will attract negligence.

Difference between Criminal and Civil Negligence 

Criminal Negligence  Civil Negligence 
Criminal negligence occurs when the person has departed a lot from the point of view of a reasonable man acting in a similar situation or circumstance.  Civil negligence comes into picture when the departure is not extreme from the point of view of a reasonable person. The question that what is extreme or not can be answered from the facts of each case. 
It is attracted when the departure is of extreme and rash nature and causes some extraordinary results which might not be seen in civil negligence.  It is considered when the departure is of ordinary nature. 
The burden of proof in criminal negligence is very high. The plaintiff has to prove his case to the court ‘beyond a reasonable doubt’. The court should not be in any doubt in giving punishment. The punishment is higher in criminal negligence.  The burden of proof in civil negligence is much lesser than what it is in criminal negligence. The plaintiff has to only prove that there is a negligent behaviour by the defendant and that has caused damage. 
For example, if a person is driving his motorcycle while he is drunk and causes the death of an individual, the person is said to commit criminal negligence. The person may be subjected to imprisonment or fine or both whatever the court feels best for the punishment.  For example, if a person has kept a dog in the house and has not put any warning outside the house and due to the negligent behaviour of the person, an individual is harmed by the dog, it will amount to civil negligence and the person is only subjected to pay compensation. 

Essentials of Negligence

To say that something is negligence, there must be some essentials which need to be looked into by the courts while ascertaining that something is negligence. There are as many as 6 essentials which need to be satisfied in order to bring the case of negligence. All the 6 essentials are explained below.

Duty of care:

Every person has to take care of another person while they are performing any work. This condition is very essential. The duty in negligence which a person has against another should be legal and can’t be attracted if the duty is arising out of moral, religious or ethical. If the plaintiff is not able to prove this condition, there is no case of negligence because if there is no duty to the plaintiff, there can’t be any case of damage. This condition is explained in the following cases.

In the case of Stansbele v Troman[ii], a decorator was engaged by the owner of the house to decorate the house for a particular function. The decorator took up the work and completed it. However, he forgot to lock the doors of the house and a thief entered the house and stole some things from the house. The owner filed a case in the court claiming the value of the stolen materials. The court held the decorator liable as he owed a duty of care in this case.  

Similarly in the case of Grant v Australian Knitting Mills Ltd[iii] the plaintiff purchased woollen underwear and after wearing the same, he suffers from a skin disease. On enquiry, it was seen that the manufacturers have not washed the underwear properly and thus caused the disease. The court held the manufacturers liable saying that the manufacturers have duty of care to their customers. 

2. Duty towards the plaintiff 

As said above the duty of care must be legal [recognized by the law]. The duty should recognize a certain relationship between the plaintiff and the defendant. It governs how the defendant should act in a certain manner towards the plaintiff. It must be established that the defendant owes a duty of care to the plaintiff. There are very landmark judgments on this front, one such most celebrated case on this front is the case of Donoghue v Stevenson[iv]where the court held that every person has a duty of care towards the neighbour. Who is a neighbour? The neighbour was defined by the courts in the same case as the people who might be affected by the actions of the defendant. If that neighbour is affected by the actions of the defendant, they can file a case in the courts for the damages they have suffered. Similarly another case came in the name of Bourhill v Young[v] where a fishwife heard the voice of an accident between the motor cyclist and a car. After sometimes she went to the same road and saw some blood shades of the dead body left on the road and suffered a saviour nervous shock and thereafter sued the representatives for the damages which she suffered. But the court here ruled in the favour of the defendant saying that the defendant does not owe duty of care to a person who is hearing the sound of the crash and then viewing the shades of the blood on the road. [also see Alcock v Chief Constable of South Yorkshire Police[vi]].

3. Breach of that very Duty to take care    

The plaintiff doesn’t only need to prove that a person has some sort of duty of care towards them but they also need to establish and prove in the court that there is a breach of that very duty due to which the damages are being sought. In other words, it means that there was a standard of care which the defendant needs to take but they have breached that duty. 

An Indian case on this front was the case of Municipal Corporation of Delhi v Subhagvanti[vii] where a clock tower collapsed in a very busy area of Delhi named Chandni Chowk resulting in the death of several persons. It was estimated by the experts that the normal lifespan of such towers is 40-50 years but the said tower was 80 years old, and the corporation has not conducted any kind of repairs in the tower. The court held that the corporation owed a duty of care and breached that duty and hence was made to pay the damages. 

Similarly in the case of Ramesh Kumar Nayak v Union of India[viii] The post authorities were held liable by the court when the post authorities failed to maintain/repair the wall of a post office, the collapse of which caused injuries to the plaintiff. The court said that there was a duty of the post authorities to maintain the wall and there was breach of that duty. 

4. Actual cause

The criteria of ‘actual cause’ means that the plaintiff has to prove that because the defendant has failed to achieve reasonable care and this was the actual cause of the damages which the plaintiff has actually suffered. If he fails to prove that the actions of the defendant were the actual reason, then the courts may rule in the favour of the defendant. The tests which were given by the English courts include the test of ‘but for’, meaning, but for the actions of the defendant, the plaintiff would not have suffered the harm. Other tests include the test of ‘chain of causation’ meaning that if the chain of causation is broken by some intervening cause, the defendant is not liable for further harm.  

5. Direct Cause

It can also be termed as ‘proximate cause’. It may not be the very first act of the defendant which caused the injury nor it may be the last act before such injury. It is any act which has reasonable consequences and which are direct in nature. 

In the case of Palsgraf v Long Island Railroad Co[ix] where a person was trying to catch a running train. When it was seen by the employees of the company, they tried to help him. He had a packet of firecrackers which slipped from his hand and burst on the rail line. They injured a person on another platform and that person sued the railway company for damages. However the court here held that the railway company is not liable for any damages caused because there was no direct cause of action. 

6. Harm to the plaintiff

This is the last condition that needs to be proved by the plaintiff in the cases of negligence. The plaintiff needs to prove that there is an injury to him because of the breach by the defendant. The harm can come under the following headings:

  • Harm to the body
  • Harm to the reputation of the plaintiff
  • Harm to the property of the plaintiff
  • Mental problem including nervous shock
  • Financial loss to the plaintiff

If the above six conditions are proved in the court, the defendant is bound to compensate the plaintiff for the damages caused. 

Let’s now look at a condition where the plaintiff does not even need to prove the above conditions. The things or the facts speak itself.

Res ipsa Loquitur

Latin word which literally means ‘the things speak for itself’.

This is a situation where the plaintiff need not prove this above conditions to bring the liability of negligence to the defendant, instead they need to prove some circumstantial evidences and the facts of such nature that the plaintiff ought to get the compensation [see the case of Municipal Corporation of Delhi v Subhagwanti]. And then the burden of proof shifts on the defendant to prove that there was no negligence. The doctrine of ‘Res Ipsa Loquitur’ came up in the case of Byrne v Boadler[x]. 

The conditions which needs to be proven are as under-

There must not be any actual cause of the negligence.

The negligence would not happen but for the negligence.

It must be under the control of the defendant or anyone appointed by him for that work.

Defences against the negligence

  1. Contributory Negligence

The defence means that the plaintiff has written his own story of causing damages to himself. It means that the plaintiff has also done some wrong and cannot ask for the whole amount of damages from the defendant. The defendant must prove any one of the conditions stated below in order to bring the defence of contributory negligence. 

  1. The plaintiff has not taken reasonable actions to avoid the negligence of the defendant where he had a chance to do so.
  2. Because of the negligence of the plaintiff, he has suffered the damages.

The burden of proof lies on the defendant to prove the same, as he is the one taking the defence and not the plaintiff. 

2 Act of God

The Act of God is a force that is exerted by nature upon the earth and it is something which cannot be foreseen, and even if it can be foreseen it can’t be resisted by the humans. Any event or negligence caused in the time of the Act of God cannot be considered as negligence because of the very basic reason that the defendant could not have done anything to stop that event from happening.  

3 Inevitable Accident 

The defence of inevitable accident is taken where there is no way to stop the accident from happening. This is not the Act of God because that is a super force but here it can be said that the person was unable to take reasonable care in that short span of time when the accident took place. 


The tort of negligence was developed in the English courts in many cases and is also considered as a very important tort in the Indian jurisdiction. To prove the negligence the plaintiff needs to prove all the conditions stated above namely duty of care, breach, damages and cause of action. The defence of the negligence is available to the defendant in case if he is innocent. 

[i] Blyth v Birmingham Water Works Co 11 Exch. 781. 

[ii] [1948] 2 KB 48.

[iii] Grant v Australian Knitting Mills Ltd, 1935 AC 85.

[iv] [1932] UKHL 100.

[v]  [1943] AC 92.

[vi] [1992] 1 AC 310.

[vii] AIR 2966 SC 1750.

[viii] 1995 ACJ 443.

[ix] [1928] 248 NY 339.

[x] 2 H. & C. 722, 159 Eng. Rep. 299 (Exch] 1863.

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This article is written by Ritesha Das, Symbiosis Law School, Hyderabad. This article points out the difference between Culpable homicide and Murder i.e. Section 299 and 300 of the IPC 


Being a weapon of justice, Law is one of the crucial structures for governing society. The Indian legislature has continuously adopted numerous methods to effectively govern and regularize the society, taking account of the different factors such as languages, castes, demographics etc. Penal laws or the Indian Penal Code, 1872 (IPC) is the statute instituted by the State on its own behalf imposing restrictions and punishments on actions prohibited by the State. The sections under the Indian Penal Code, 1872 are comprehensive and interlinked with each other due to which it’s often difficult to comprehend and ascertain the gap between every section, especially section 299 and section 300 of Indian Penal Code, 1872. Although the above-mentioned sections are quite similar but there is a thin line of distinction highlighted by the Supreme Court of India while examining the provisions of the Indian Penal Code, 1872.


Section 299 of Indian Penal Code, 1872 deals with culpable homicide. The word homicide was originated from the Latin word homo, which means ‘man and cedere, ‘means cutting or killing’. Culpable homicide means death through the commission or omission of an act of a human being. The term culpable homicide is further classified into two categories: Culpable homicide not amounting to murder and Culpable homicide amounting to murder, under section 299 of Indian Penal Code, 1872. The composition of culpable homicide involves the ingredients of both physical and mental elements. Any event or action conducted with an intention to cause death or grievous bodily injury ultimately resulting in death, satisfying the elements of both physical and mental requirement would directly impose the liability or punishment on the person responsible for such event or action. Culpable homicide is the Genus and murder is the Species. All murders are culpable homicide but not vice-versa. Section 299 is often mistaken to be the definition of culpable homicide not amounting to murder but it is just a genus. Section

300 of IPC defines culpable homicide amounting to murder is not defined under a specific section as it is under the ambit of murder, which is section 300 of IPC.  

  • Death of a living person – The term death under section 299 of Indian Penal Code, 1872 means the death of a human being. Although the death of an unborn child doesn’t fall under the ambit of culpable homicide, but the death of a living child will definitely fall under the ambit of culpable homicide amounting to murder.
  • Action or omission– The death of the person should be caused by the actions like poisoning, striking, drowning etc of the accused. Mere death due to the ageing or ailment will not amount to culpable homicide.
  • Intention – The term ‘intention’ is referred to as the knowledge or expectations of the repercussion of the actions conducted by the accused. If a person is charged with doing something which is likely to have highly injurious implications, the intention is derived from the actions of the accused and the circumstances of the case.
  • Knowledge: Knowledge is a strong word that offers an assurance rather than a chance. To penalize under culpable homicide, knowledge is one of the crucial elements to be considered. The term ‘knowledge’ here simply means the knowledge of the person about his acts and its repercussions (which is likely to cause death).
  • The probability to cause death: The accused will be prosecuted under culpable homicide (not amounting to murder) even if the intention of the accused was not to cause death by the use of unreasonable force highlighting the repercussions, which had a probability to cause death.

The punishment of culpable homicide not amounting to murder is defined under section 304 of Indian Penal Code, 1872.  It states that “Whoever commits culpable homicide not amounting to murder shall be punished with 104[imprisonment for life], or imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to ten years, and shall also be liable to fine, if the act by which the death is caused is done with the intention of causing death, or of causing such bodily injury as is likely to cause death, or with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to ten years, or with fine, or with both, if the act is done with the knowledge that it is likely to cause death, but without any intention to cause death, or to cause such bodily injury as is likely to cause death.”

Under this section, the degree of the punishments is mainly dependent on the two ingredients: intention of causing death or grievous bodily injury having the probability to cause death and the knowledge that the act is likely to cause death. According to section 304, the punishment for culpable homicide ranges from life imprisonment to imprisonment for a term which might extend to 10 years with imposition of the fine. If the act or the conduct is done with the prudent knowledge of the repercussions, that is likely to cause death but the element of intention to cause death was missing; then the punishment might vary from imprisonment upto 10 years or fine or both. The offences falling under the purview of Section 304 of IPC is cognizable, non-bailable and triable by Court of Session.

In the case of V. Sreedharan v. State of Kerala, the accused chased the deceased to a certain distance and then gave a single fatal blow due to the instant provocation fueled by the heat of passion on the sudden pursuit and the whole event was held to represent a continuous sequence. Consequently, the accused’s sentence was transferred from Section 300 to Section 304, Part 1.

  • Rampal Singh v. State of Uttar Pradesh

In the case of Rampal Singh v. State of U.P, the court defined ‘culpable homicide’ as the performance of an act or omission with the intention of causing death or bodily injury which has enough potential to cause death, or any other act carried out to cause death with the adequate knowledge. 

The above statement not only emphasizes the term ‘intention’ but also the term ‘knowledge’. However, they are both optimistic and have diverse mental attitudes. The main mental element is the mental attitude towards the repercussions of the acts conducted with mere intention or knowledge. Once an offence committed is fitting under any of the above three classifications, it will be vindicated under the grounds of culpable homicide.

  • Shanmugam v. State of  Tamil Nadu

In the case Shanmugam v. State of Tamil Nadu, the accused stabbed the deceased on a minor altercation with a spear in the abdomen and the chest. After a septicaemia week, the patient died. The court suspected the accused to have inflicted grave wounds. The accused was Part I of Section 304.


Section 300 of IPC specifically deals with murder including culpable homicide amounting to murder.  The spectrum of culpable Homicide specifically focuses on the two elements: the intention and knowledge of the conduct. But if a man intentionally inflicts sufficient bodily injury in the ordinary cause of his nature to cause death, that person will be liable for murder under section 300 of IPC. In the event of murder, the probability of death is greater than in the case of guilty murder.

  • Acts committed with an intention to cause death: The ingredient of murder deals with any action or conduct including illegal omission, with an intention to cause the death of a living person, comes under the purview of culpable homicide amounting to murder. An act committed with the intention of causing death falls under the ambit of culpable homicide amounting to murder. 
  • Intentional bodily injury despite knowing the repercussion of death: The second element of murder deals with the bodily injury caused intentionally by a person having adequate knowledge of the consequences of death from that grievous injury. Such acts committed under this element also fall under the purview of culpable homicide amounting to murder. The offences falling under the ambit of this second element specifically focuses on: Intention and knowledge of the consequences of the injury.
  • Intention being the crux ingredient of the bodily injury caused: The third element specifies that the intention to cause and actually causing the same grievous bodily injury resulting in the death of the person is sufficient to vindicate the subjective matter. Further enquiry regarding the intention or knowledge of the repercussions of the actions of the accuser is not required.
  • Action probable to cause death without intention: The fourth element deals with the spontaneous actions that are caused without any intention of causing bodily injury to anyone. Such actions fall under the ambit of section 300 of IPC. However, the act mentioned in the fourth element should be followed by the knowledge of the action being dangerous enough to cause death or bodily injury, which may lead to death.

The punishment for the murder falls under the purview section 302 of the Indian Penal Code, which defines that a person charged for murder, is liable for either life imprisonment or execution or both. The liability further shall extend to imposition of the fine.

  • Jagrup Singh V. State of Haryana

In the case of  Jagrup Singh V. State of Haryana, the appellant hit the defendant’s head with a blunt log of wood, causing his death. The court held that if any person strikes someone with a rod or log of wood without any justifiable circumstances, then such an action is considered to be an injury intentionally inflicted to cause death and hence the appellant was liable under section 302 of IPC. 

  • B.N. Srikantiah v. Mysore State

In the case of  B.N. Srikantiah v. Mysore State, the deceased had suffered 24 injuries out of which 21 of them were inlaid. The injuries could be traced on several parts of his body including his head, neck, shoulders and forearms. The intention of inflicting bodily injury under section 300 of IPC was established by the traces of the injuries, which highlighted the use of small weapons for inflicting bodily injury. 

  • Abdul Waheed v State of Maharashtra

In the case of Abdul Waheed v State of Maharashtra, the deceased was wounded three inches deep with a knife over a trifle matter. The Supreme court held that the injury resulted in death was sufficient to draw the element of intention. By combining every factor, if the element of intention highlighted in the circumstances acts as a corroborative device to reflect intention, then the accused will be said to have formed the intention to cause death.


Following are the exceptions under section 300 of IPC:

  • Sudden provocation: The person committing an act under sudden provocation triggering the self-control, ultimately causing the death of any person will not fall under the ambit of murder. Rather it will fall under the purview of culpable homicide not amounting to murder.
  • Sudden fight: The death caused due to sudden combat out of rage resulting in the death of a person will not fall under the ambit of section 300 of IPC due to the absence of inferring the ‘intention’. Under this exception, the fight should not involve any premeditation. The time gap between the quarrel and actual combat is an essential element of this exception.
  • Right to private defence: Under this exception, a person is empowered to use reasonable force for inflicting any sort of harm including death for the sake of his personal defence. The action should not be committed with the intention of causing death; rather the sole motive for inflicting the harm is personal defence using a reasonable degree of force.
  • Consent: The death of any person except minor, caused after consenting to all the risks knowing the repercussion of death will not fall under section 300 of IPC. The element of consent under this exception must be free and voluntary.
  • Excessive power exerted by a public servant: A public servant, being unauthorized by law, asserting excessive power resulting in the death of the person can’t use the exception of statutory authority as a defence. This exception applies only if the public servant does any act in good faith, believing to serve justice 

Although both culpable homicide and murder deal with the killing of a person, but the scope differs in both the cases. Various researchers and scholars often fail to draw the line of distinction between the terms  ‘culpable homicide’ and’ murder’, due to which they are often interchanged with each other. From the above elaborations, it is crystal clear that the term ‘Culpable homicide’ has a wider scope than term ‘murder’ as murder falls under the aggravation of culpable homicide with a higher probability of causing death with intention and knowledge, subjected to certain exceptions. 


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Several categories of the Citizens have been defined under Part – II of the Constitution of India. A citizen of the state is a person who enjoys full membership of the state. The Citizens of the country are different from aliens and mere residents. Citizens have all the rights provided by the state which may not be available to aliens and residents. For example, in India, the aliens don’t enjoy all the Fundamental Rights, the right to vote is available to the citizens alone. Citizenship inheres only in natural persons and not in juristic persons, like corporations.

What is Citizenship

Citizenship refers to the state of being recognized as a citizen of the state. Citizenship ensures that the person is a member of the state. It further provides the social and political rights to the citizens. A citizen has the right to take part in the governance and administration of the state.

Difference between Citizenship, Nationality, Overseas Citizenship and Resident


Nationality refers to the status of belonging to a particular nation. Thus, the person enjoys the nationality of the place where he is born. For example, a person born in India, automatically acquires Indian Nationality, however, in order to obtain the citizenship of a country, a person is required to apply for it, whereas, the nationality is automatically vested on a person, he need not apply for it. A national of one country may apply for the citizenship of a different country. Thus, one can change his Citizenship but can not alter his/her nationality.

Overseas Citizenship

Overseas Citizenship is granted to the people who are not ordinarily the citizens of the country. Thus, the person of India who migrated to other countries except for Pakistan and Bangladesh and has obtained foreign citizenship is awarded overseas citizenship. This should not be confused with dual citizenship. Overseas citizenship is provided only if the home country allows dual citizenship in some form or the other. However, the Overseas Citizens cannot enjoy all the rights which are provided to the citizen of the country for example

1. Overseas don’t have the right to vote.

2. He is not eligible to obtain an Indian passport.

3. One can not contest the elections of Lok Sabha, Rajya Sabha, Legislative Assembly or Legislative Council.

4. A person can not hold constitutional posts like President, Vice-President or the Judge of a Court.

5. He is not eligible to apply for government jobs.

6. He can not acquire the agricultural or plantation property but can inherit the same.


A resident is a person who resides in a country. A resident is not always the Citizen of the country. A foreign national residing in India can be termed as a Resident of India but not necessarily the Citizen of India unless he acquires Citizenship.

What are the different modes of acquiring Citizenship

Article 5, 6 and 8 of the Indian Constitution specifies certain methods by which a person can acquire the citizenship of India. These are discussed below:

By Domicile

Article 5 lays down two conditions for citizenship

  1. A person must have the domicile in the territory of India before the commencement of the Act.
  2. He must fulfil any of the three conditions given below:
  • He must have born in the territory of India, or
  • Either of his parents must have born in the territory of India, or
  • He must have been ordinarily resident in the territory of India for not less than 5 years immediately preceding such commencement.

‘Domicile’ refers to the intention of residing in a country for an indefinite period.

The domicile is of two types:

  1. Domicile of Origin
  2. Domicile of Choice

1) Domicile of Origin

Every person is born with the Domicile of Origin. The domicile of origin is received by him at the time of his birth. The basis of obtaining such domicile is the paternity or maternity. Thus, a child will acquire the domicile of the same country to which the father was domiciled at the time of the child’s birth. The domicile of origin continues until a person acquires the domicile of choice. Once the domicile of choice is suspended then he again obtains the domicile of origin. In the case of a posthumous child, the child will have the domicile of the country to which his father was domiciled at the time of death.

2. Domicile of Choice

A person can acquire the domicile of choice by fulfilling two conditions:

a) Residing in a particular place

(b) Intention to reside permanently or for an indefinite period.

It must be noted that a child whose parents are unknown gets the domicile of the country in which he is found. After the marriage, the wife acquires the domicile of the husband. However, the case is different if they are judicially separated. In India, a person can not have two domiciles.

Citizenship by Migration

Article 6 of the Constitution of India provides that any person who has migrated to the territory of India from Pakistan shall be the Citizen of India at the commencement of the Constitution of India. For the purpose of Citizenship, people have been classified into two categories:

  1. Those who migrated to India before 19th July 1948
  2. Those who migrated India after 19th July 1948

The people who have migrated to India before 19th July 1948 have to fulfil two conditions in order to obtain citizenship:

  1. The person migrated to India or either of his parents or either of his grandparents was born in India as defined in the Government of India Act, 1935.
  2. The person migrated to India has been ordinarily residing in the territory of India since the date of the migration.

The people who have migrated to India after 19th July 1948 have to fulfil the following four conditions

  1. The person migrated to India or either of his parents or either of his grandparents was born in India as defined in the Government of India Act, 1935.
  2. The person has applied for citizenship.
  3. He has resided in India for 6 months
  4. He has been registered as a citizen of India by the officer appointed by the Government of the Dominion of India.

Citizenship by Registration

Article 8 of the Indian Constitution provides that the persons whose parents or grandparents were born in Indian but residing abroad can obtain the citizenship of India by registration.

Persons Voluntarily acquiring citizenship of a foreign state

Article 9 provides that any person who has voluntarily acquired the citizenship of a foreign state shall not remain the citizen of India. The cases of voluntary acquisition of foreign citizenship shall be dealt with by the Government of India under the Citizenship Act, 1955.

Rights of Citizens

Certain rights are available only to the citizens of India and not the aliens or foreign nationals. These rights are:

  • Right to Vote
  • Prohibition of discrimination on the basis of race, caste, sex, place of birth. (Article 15)
  • Right to Equality of opportunity in matters of public employment. (Article 16)
  • Protection of Freedom of Speech and Expression. (Article 19)
  • Protection of language, script or culture of the minorities. (Article-29)
  • Right of minorities to establish and administer educational institutions of their choice.

Power of Parliament to make laws with respect to citizenship

Article – 11 of the Indian Constitution provides that the Parliament can make laws related to the acquisition and termination of citizenship and matters relating to citizenship. In exercise of this power, the parliament enacted the Citizenship Act in 1955. Several changes were made in the Act in 2003 and 2005 to introduce the concept of overseas citizenship of India.


  • V.N. Shukla, Constitution of India 44 (13th ed. 2017)
  • State Trading Corpn. of India Ltd. v. CTO, AIR 1963 SC 1811
  • Anmol Goyal and Sumit Gyal, ​Concept of Domicile, ​1 JUSIMPERATOR, 5 (2017)
  • Pradeep Jain v. Union of India, (1984) 3 SCC 654
  • D.P. Joshi v. State of Madhya Bharat, AIR 1955 SC 334
  • Kulathil Mammu v. State of Kerala, AIR 1966 SC 1614
  • State of U.P. v. Rehmatullah, (1971) 2 SCC 113

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