Canadian-born Deepan Budlakoti challenges the federal government to get his citizenship back

Sam Smith, Metro News, 15 June 2014

It’s been four years since Deepan Budlakoti lost his identity and had his passport revoked, but on Monday, June 16 he’s challenging the government for his Canadian citizenship back.

Budlakoti is scheduled to appear before the Supreme Court of Canada in Ottawa at 9:30 a.m. eastern time. If he’s successful, the government would be forced to recognize his citizenship and admit their actions violated the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

A judgment could be rendered on Monday, but given his history with the government Budlakoti doesn’t know if it will go that smooth.

“It all depends on the judge,” he said. “But if I do get my citizenship back, the first thing I want to do is go skydiving.”

Budlakoti has a Canadian birth certificate and held a Canadian passport up until he was convicted and put into prison for three years in 2010 for selling a hunting rifle to an undercover police office.

Since then he claims the federal government stripped him of his passport, stating it was issued in error, and then attempted to deport him to his parents’ home country of India – a country he’s never been to.

While Budlakoti admits he has an extensive criminal record including hundreds of break-ins, he says that was from being a “stupid, young fool” and that’s all behind him now, and he shouldn’t lose his citizenship for his past mistakes.

The federal government said his citizenship was issued in error as his parents worked for the Indian High Commissioner when he was born in 1989. However, Budlakoti said his parents had stopped working for the commissioner in June, 1989. He was born in October.

He notes this as a violation of his rights and wants to get his citizenship, and his life, back.

“I’ll get health care, I’ll be able to work again, I’ll be able to see a doctor normally,” he said. “I’ll be able to do schooling. My life will honestly be back on track. I’ll live a normal life.”