Article 7: A Closer Look at its Role in the Indian Constitution


Article 7 of the Constitution of India deals with the rights of citizenship of certain migrants to Pakistan. It states that any person who has migrated from the territory of India to the territory now included in Pakistan after the 19th day of July 1948 shall not be deemed to be a citizen of India.

However, there is an exception to this rule: if a person who has migrated to Pakistan returns to the territory of India under a permit for resettlement or permanent return issued by or under the authority of any law, then he/she shall for the purposes of clause (b) of article 6 be deemed to have migrated to the territory of India after the 19th day of July, 1948.

In other words, if a person who has migrated to Pakistan returns to India with a valid permit, then he/she will be treated as if he/she had never migrated to Pakistan in the first place. This means that he/she will be entitled to all the rights and privileges of an Indian citizen.

Article 7 was inserted into the Constitution in 1949, at a time when there was a large-scale migration of people between India and Pakistan following the partition of India in 1947. The purpose of this article was to prevent people who had migrated to Pakistan from coming back to India and claiming Indian citizenship.

Article 7 has been criticized by some for being discriminatory against certain groups of people. However, the Indian government has defended this article on the grounds that it is necessary to protect India's sovereignty and national security.

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