A Sri Lankan refugee whose father was a Sri Lankan and mother an Indian was allowed to obtain his passport. “We are still stuck in patriarchal notions”: Madras High Court

The Madras High Court passed a judgement on 5th of April, 2023 in which it cleared the confusion about the rights of people who were born in India while their parents are not Indians to obtain a passport. This was seen in the case of Neyatitus v. The Regional Passport Officer (W.P(MD)No.2421 of 2023) and the case was presided over by The Honourable Mr. Justice GR Swaminathan


The petitioner is a son to a Sri Lankan father and an Indian mother. His birth certificate mentions him as a ‘Sri Lankan refugee’. He was born and brought up in India. All his schooling and graduation years were spent in India. Later, had applied for a passport to travel abroad. This request was denied as his birth certificate identified him as a ‘Sri Lankan refugee’. The defendant is the Regional Passport Officer. The latter did not have the authority to issue a passport to a person who does not have proof of being an Indian citizen.


The court referred to previous case laws such as P. Ulaganathan and Ors. v. The Government of India and Ors. and Harina v. The Regional Passport Officer and various legislations like the Citizenship Act, 1955, India’s Refugee Policy and other international frameworks that India is a signatory to. The learned single judge voiced that we have to move on from our patriarchal notions. Even if only the mother is an Indian, but the child was born in India, it acquires the position of a citizen and thus can avail a passport.

The Regional Office couldn’t do provide him with the same because his birth certificate mentioned ‘Sri Lankan refugee’ and it was beyond their authority to provide him a passport.

Hence the court allowed the writ petition with no costs.

“PRIME LEGAL is a full-service law firm that has won a National Award and has more than 20 years of experience in an array of sectors and practice areas. Prime legal falls into a category of best law firm, best lawyer, best family lawyer, best divorce lawyer, best divorce law firm, best criminal lawyer, best criminal law firm, best consumer lawyer, best civil lawyer.”


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *