Kathmandu, Nepal, January 17, 2022: Deputy Prime Minister and Home Minister Rabi Lamichhane has made clear that he had never renounced Nepali citizenship as per the Citizenship Rules that has not clearly provisioned the procedures for people like him to get his Nepali citizenship restored.
‘The question of initiating the process to restore Nepali citizenship did not arise,’ DPM Lamichhane has stated in his written reply submitted to the Supreme Court (SC), the Apex Court of the country, while responding to the cases filed against him challenging his election to the House of Representatives (HoR).
Separate two writ petitions were filed by Yubaraj Paudel 'Safal', and Raviraj Basaula and Nani Babju Khatri questioning about his eligibility to contest HoR elections referring to the section 10 and 11 of the Nepali Citizenship Act.
Lamichhane had obtained American citizenship though he had renounced latter but not initiated the mandatory process of getting his Nepali citizenship restored, the petitioners have stated in the writ petition questioning about his election as HoR member. However, Lamichhane has stated in the written response that this rule should not apply to him as he had never renounced his Nepali citizenship.
The five-member constitutional bench of the apex court led by Acting Chief Justice Hari Krishna Karki has been hearing his case. Final hearing of the case is listed for January 25.
Relevant citizenship provisions has not made clear about mandatory process of getting Nepali citizenship restored if any person like Lamichhane obtain citizenship of other countries and renounce it latter. The provision has only stated that if a Nepali citizen renounces Nepali citizenship to obtain citizenship of another country, he should submit his/her application in an approved format with the receipt of the renouncement of his/her foreign citizenship.
Lamichhane is now as Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Home affairs after he won the parliamentary elections held on November 20 from Chitwan Constituency No 2 with a huge margin. His party has secured fourth largest position by winning 20 seats in the 257 member HoR.