Foreigner forging details for citizenship to get 7-year jail
By A Staff Reporter
Kathmandu, Mar. 16: The State Affairs and Good Governance Committee (SAGC) of the federal parliament has reached an agreement on a provision of slapping a seven-year jail term and fine of Rs. 500,000 to any foreign national who receives Nepal’s citizenship certificate by submitting forged details.
A meeting of the Committee held in Singha Durbar on Thursday reached the agreement to insert the provision of stern action against the foreign nationals who obtain citizenship certificates by presenting wrong details.
The members of the Committee have also included the provision in the draft of the Citizenship Bill.
The agreed point will be mentioned in the present Citizenship Act-2063 Section 21 (1) after its amendment, Dr. Dila Sangraula, member of the Committee representing the Nepali Congress, said.
The present Citizenship Act has provisioned one to five years’ jail term and a fine up to Rs. 100,000 for those who obtain the citizenship certificates by presenting wrong details, Dr. Sangraula said.
The Committee reached the agreement to mention the provision of both jail term and fine in the Bill. The present Act has the provision of either jail term or fine for presenting the wrong documents.
According to Dr. Sangraula, if any Nepali national is found helping or recommending to issue the citizenship certificates to the foreign nationals by presenting fake details, such persons will be sent to jail for one to three years and fined Rs. 100,000, according to the new Bill.
The present Act has provisioned of three to six years’ jail term and Rs. 25,000 to 50,000 as fine or both for committing similar crime.
Likewise, the Committee also agreed to insert a provision of three to five years’ imprisonment and fine amounting to Rs. 100,000 to 300,000 for any Nepali citizen found posing themselves as parents or guardians of the foreign nationals seeking Nepali citizenship certificates.
But when any Nepali citizen helps a genuine Nepali citizen obtain the citizen certificate by presenting fake documents and information, he or she shall be sentenced for one and half years to six years’ jail term and fined Rs. 25,000 to Rs. 100,000, according to Rekha Sharma, one of the members of the Committee.
Similarly, the Committee also agreed to slap three to five years’ jail term and fine Rs. 100,000 to Rs. 300,000 to any citizen found possessing more than one citizenship certificate.
There is a provision of taking action against the government officials, who do not recommend for the issuance of the citizenship certificates to the persons having all required documents, according to Sharma.
It is the ward chair who first recommends people for the citizenship certificate.
“If the local body official (ward chair) does not recommend for citizenship certificates despite having all the required documents, such official will be imprisoned for six months and fined Rs. 50,000.
The Committee members on Thursday’s meeting, however, failed to reach a conclusion on the provision of punishment for those found using the government-scrapped citizenship certificates.
Majority of the members attending the meeting had proposed a provision of five to seven years’ jail term and fine amounting to Rs. 300,000 to Rs. 500,000 to such persons.
Home Secretary Prem Kumar Rai was asked to come up in the next meeting of the Committee with a specific provision to address such case, said Sharma.