The Indian government has cancelled at least 102 Overseas Citizenship of India (OCI) cards between 2014 and May 2023, sparking debate over balancing individual rights and national security concerns. This move raises crucial questions about the use of Section 7D of the Citizenship Act, which empowers authorities to revoke OCI cards under specific circumstances.

The OCI scheme, launched in 2005, offers persons of Indian origin permanent residency in India while retaining foreign citizenship. However, Section 7D of the Citizenship Act empowers the government to revoke OCI cards under specific circumstances, including:

  • Fraudulent acquisition of the card.
  • Demonstrating “disaffection towards the Constitution of India.”
  • Assisting an enemy nation during war.
  • Criminal convictions within India.
  • Situations deemed necessary for safeguarding India’s “sovereignty, integrity, and security.”