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Caetano R. SilvaThe Delhi High Court Friday agreed to hear a plea of a sitting Goa lawmaker challenging the decision of union home ministry cancelling his Indian citizenship, by holding him to be a Portugese national.

Justice V.K. Jain posted the matter for Dec 3.

Caetano R. Silva, a member of Goa Vikas Party, moved the high court saying that on Nov 20, the central government had issued orders to cancel his citizenship, on the basis of a complaint that alleged that he had voluntarily taken up Portugese citizenship.

He said he had never applied for Portugese citizenship.

Silva, who represents Benaulim, alleged that the government had taken a decision on the basis of unverified documents submitted in a complaint by his political rival, who had lost to him in the assembly elections.

He further submitted that he was held to be a Portugese national merely on the basis of a letter received from Indian embassy in Lisbon that his birth has allegedly been registered there in 2010.

Seeking setting aside of the order, Silva contended that the order was passed on the basis of a document from the Lisbon government that a person named Roberto Silva had been registered with the Central Register of Births, in 2010.

The plea added that that there is nothing to prove that the person who had applied for citizenship was the same person. It added that the birth certificate registered in Portugal in 2010 does not relate to him as his birth was registered in Goa in 1952.

Alleging that Silva had registered his birth with the Lisbon government in 2010, and renounced Indian citizenship, a complaint had been filed in January this year with the union home ministry.

Silva argued that he is an Indian citizen and was issued a new Indian passport valid till Jan 6, 2018.

Silva, born on Oct 21, 1959 in Benaulim in Goa (then a colony of Portugal), said his birth was registered under the Code of Civil Registration of 1912, in force, in Goa, Daman, Diu, as also in Dadra and Nagar Haveli.

Under the provisions of the Goa, Daman & Diu (Citizenship) Order, 1962, the residents of the territories, born before December 1961 could choose to retain Portugese citizenship after the territories were liberated from Portugese control in 1961.

(Source:IANS)


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