Thursday, August 5, 2021
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Indian woman wins legal right to British passport

An Indian woman has won a UK high court case to be granted a British passport based on her father’s British citizenship. Deelavathi Bondada, the daughter of an Indian immigrant who settled in Britain and became a citizen of the UK, had requested a British passport from the UK home office to escape an abusive marriage in India.

However, UK immigration authorities had denied her request based on some doubts over her paternity. A British judge has now ruled those doubts were “untenable” and granted the 45-year-old British citizenship on the basis of her descent. Justice Walker was asked to rule on the dispute between the Home Office and Bondada, who was born in India in 1969, two years after her father Chandraiah became a British citizen.

He ruled that she was a British citizen by descent and therefore entitled to a British passport. The ruling earlier this week quashed the Home Office’s October 2013 decision refusing her one. Walker said government officials who objected to Deelavathi’s claim had ignored “compelling DNA evidence”.

He said the unsupported speculation that her mother, Ganikamma, who was now 86, had had a secret lover who fathered Deelavathi was “so far-fetched as to be absurd”. “It is not a real possibility, let alone a possibility of such substance as to enable the court to make a finding that Deelavathi has not shown on the balance of probability that Chandraiah was her father,” the judge said in a written ruling.

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