Kenya: Republic v Principal Registrar of Persons, Ministry of Immigration & Attorney General Ex-parte Virdi Gurveen
Source: High Court of Kenya at Nairobi
1. In this application, the applicant herein, Virdi Gurveen, seeks substantially an order of an order of Mandamus to compel the respondent to issue her with a valid Kenya National Identification card. She also seeks a declaration that she is a Kenyan Citizen and deserves an Identification Card as enshrined in the Constitution and an order that the Respondent has infringed on her right. She in addition seeks the costs of the application.
32. Section 13(3) of the Kenya Citizenship and Migration Act No.12 of 2011 provides that:
(3) A child of a citizen by registration who was born before the parent acquired citizenship may on application by the parent or legal guardian be registered as a Kenya citizen upon—
(a) production of documents conferring Kenyan citizenship to any of the parents;
(b) production of the child’s birth certificate; and
(c) proof of proof of lawful residence of the child in Kenya.
33. In my view the applicant falls within the aforesaid provision. She therefore may be registered as a Kenyan citizen if she fulfils the provisions of the said section. However, the section expressly provides that the decision whether to so register her is to be made on application for the said registration. In this case there is no evidence that the applicant has made an application for registration. The applicant seems to be of the view that an application for registration is the same thing as an application for an ID Card which in my view only applies where a person is a citizen since under Article 12 of the Constitution only Kenyan citizens are entitled to a Kenyan passport and any document of registration or identification issued by the State.
34. The applicant seems to be of the view that once she applied for a national Identity Card and was issued with a waiting card, she was automatically entitled to be issued with a Kenyan National ID Card. With due respect to the applicant, a waiting card is just evidence that an application for a national Identity Card has been made and it does not automatically qualify as a confirmation that the Identity Card will actually be issued though where there is unexplained unreasonable delay in issuing the same the Court may intervene appropriately.
35. In this case however it seems that the applicant’s application for issuance to her of the National Identity Card was premature. The position must have been clear to the applicant’s legal advisers since the second prayer, she is seeking a declaration that she is a Kenyan Citizen. It is that declaration, in my view, that should have preceded the application for an Identity Card, assuming she had applied to be registered as a Kenyan Citizen in the first place
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