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‘Stateless’ man to be granted Kenyan citizenship

A ‘stateless’ man from Nairobi, who had for the last 12 years been seeking application as a citizen of Kenya without success, could finally be provided with the crucial documents next month.

Mr Kulraj Singh Bhangra, had on December 5, 2014 obtained Court orders directing the said Director-General to consider his application as a citizen of Kenya but the said state officer had been reluctant to comply.

But there is now light at the end of the tunnel for Mr Bhangra after High Court judge Isaac Lenaola on Friday ordered the Director-General of Kenya Citizens and Foreign Nationals Management Service, to comply with the previous court orders, or face the wrath of the court.

“The director general having admitted non-compliance with the orders of December 5, 2014, he is hereby cited for contempt of court. To purge the contempt, he is granted a further 30 days to comply,” said Justice Lenaola.

The judge said failure to act, the court will proceed to mete out such sentence and sanctions on the Director-General of Kenya Citizens and Foreign Nationals Management Service, as it deems fit.

Mr Bhangra, obtained a Kenyan Identity card in Makadara, Nairobi County, and has been living in Kenya since birth. He had applied for a passport on May 19, 2009 but was verbally informed that he was stateless.

BORN IN KENYA

Justice Lenaola had ruled that the Director-General of Kenya Citizens and Foreign National Management Service, had violated Mr Bhangra’s right by failing to give him a written notice on the status of his application.

Mr Bhangra had told the court that his father was born in Kenya in October, 1951. He said his father registered him as a British citizen on September 2, 1987 and he was then issued with a certificate on August 12, 1987.

He also said his father married his mother in Kericho on March 13, 1977.

Mr Bhangra had been issued with a temporary permit to travel to East Africa but the document was later confiscated.

In defence, the state counsel had told the court that the concerned state office had been unable to comply with the court orders because original files relating to Mr Bhangra, and which contained vital information that is necessary in considering his application for registration as a citizen of Kenya, had gone missing.

However, that Mr Bhangra had in the meantime, been issued with a certificate of identity valid for one year to enable him travel in and out of Kenya as he wished.