IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
1. The short question which arises for determination in this appeal against the judgment of the Judicial Commissioner Goa, Daman & Diu dismissing petition filed by Gangadhar Yeshwant Bhandare appellant to question the election of Erasmo De Jesus Sequiria respondent to the Lok Sabha is whether the said respondent at the relevant time was a citizen of India.
2. The respondent was declared elected to the Lok Sabha from the Moraugao parliamentary constituency in the elections held in March 1971. The appellant who had been validly nominated as a candidate at the election for the above constituency withdrew his candidature and did not contest the said election. After the result of the election had been declared, the appellant filed election petition to have the election of the respondent declared void on the ground that on the date of the election the respondent was not qualified to be chosen to fill a parliamentary seat under the Constitution of India and the Representation of the People Act, 1951 as the respondent on that date was not a citizen of India and not an elector as contemplated by the Representation of the People Act, 1951. According to the appellant, prior to December 20, 1961 when the Union Territory of Goa, Daman & Diu was liberated from the Portuguese domination and became a part of the Indian Union the said territory was a Portuguese possession and the respondent was Portuguese citizen. Following the liberation and merger of that territory with the Union of India, the Government of India in exercise of the powers conferred by Section 7 of the Citizenship Act, 1955 issued on March 28, 1962 Goa, Daman and Diu (Citizenship) Order, 1962 (hereinafter referred to as Citizenship Order) conferring the citizenship of India on persons born in the above mentioned territory before December 20, 1961 on the terms and conditions set out in the order. The relevant part of clause 2 of that order was as under :
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