The news that Akshay Kumar is a Citizen of Canada was first published on 7 April 2016, which said Akshay was ‘detained’ on the Heathrow airport, London on April 6, while UK immigration officials checked the details of his Canadian passport.
Mumbai Mirror, of The Times Group, wrote on April 7, “Airport officials informed Mirror that the rules allow a Canadian national to visit the UK as a tourist without a visa. However, when asked about the purpose of this visit, the actor disclosed that it was for a film shoot, which made a visa stamp necessary and was hence detained.”
Even Indian Express wrote – “Actor Akshay Kumar was made to wait at Heathrow Airport as UK immigration officials checked the details of his Canadian passport” and Akshay is a “Canadian national” – on 8 April 2016.
Hundreds of websites have published reports after that about the Canadian citizenship of the self-made Bollywood Actor Akshay Kumar.
dailypost.in [an English daily published from Chandigarh] claims that Akshay Kumar has acquired the citizenship of Canada in 2014.
When a reporter asked Akshay about his “Canadian” citizenship during a promotional event of Jolly LLB 2, Akshay said – “That is honorary, that is not what you think.” You can watch the Akshay’s reply in the video given below.
Law on Citizenship in India
Indian laws do not provide for dual citizenship as clearly interpreted from Article 9 of the constitution of India or Section 8 of The Citizenship Act, 1955. So you cannot hold a passport of any other country if you hold an Indian Passport.
Article 9 of the Constitution of India states that no person shall be a citizen of India if he has voluntarily acquired the citizenship of any foreign State.
Overseas Citizenship of India
It does NOT mean Citizenship of India. An Overseas Citizen of India do NOT have –
- the right to vote,
- the right to hold the offices of President, Vice-President, Judge of Supreme Court and High Courts, Member of Lok Sabha, Rajya Sabha, Legislative Assembly or Council,
- appointment to Public Services (Government Service)
What is Honorary Citizenship?
Honorary citizenship is a status conferred by a country to a foreign individual whom it considers to be especially admirable or otherwise worthy of the distinction.
Honorary citizenship does not carry with it the rights and privileges of ordinary citizenship, and such status does not confer any special entry, travel or immigration benefits upon the honoree. It also does not impose additional duties or responsibilities on the honoree.
So, even if you are an honorary citizen of Canada, you would still need a visa to visit the country.
Indian Government Response to Akshay Kumar’s Citizenship
In November 2017, Ministry of Home Affairs – New Delhi replied to an RTI query whose text and picture is given below:
|Question: Is the Bollywood Actor Akshay Kumar, born Rajiv Hari Om Bhatia, whose Date of Birth is 9 September 1967, (whose movie Toilet: Ek Prem Katha made tax free in Uttar Pradesh, recently) a citizen of India or an Overseas Citizen of India, as defined under The Citizenship Act, 1955?||Reply: He is not an Overseas Citizen of India.|
|Question: Does the above described Akshay Kumar has ever voluntarily abandoned the Citizenship of India?||Reply: No records of such occurrence is available.|
Ministry of Home Affairs – New Delhi, in August 2017, replied to another online RTI query whose text and screenshot is given below –
|Question: Is Bollywood Actor Akshay Kumar, born Rajiv Hari Om Bhatia, DOB 9 September 1967, an Indian Citizen?||Reply: Actor Akshay Kumar is a Citizen of India.|