A petition was filed in the Supreme Court on Thursday seeking direction to the Centre and the Election Commission to debar Congress president Rahul Gandhi from contesting the Lok Sabha election till the issue of his citizenship is decided. The Home Ministry recently served a notice to Gandhi asking him to clarify within a fortnight his “factual position” on a complaint questioning his citizenship status.
The plea filed in the apex court has said that the petitioners were “dissatisfied” with the “inaction” of the Centre and the poll panel in “deciding the question of voluntary acquisition of British citizenship” by Gandhi in spite of a November 2015 communication by BJP leader Subramanian Swamy in this regard.
The petitioners — Jai Bhagwan Goyal and CP Tyagi — have alleged that since prima facie evidence in this regard has been produced before the Home Ministry and the EC, Gandhi should not have been allowed to contest the ongoing Lok Sabha elections from parliamentary constituencies he has decided to — Amethi in Uttar Pradesh and Wayanad in Kerala.
The plea, filed by advocate Barun Kumar Sinha, also sought a direction to the EC to remove Gandhi’s name from “electoral roll till the decision of the question of acquisition of his British citizenship”.
The plea was mentioned for urgent listing before a bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi.
The lawyer appearing for the petitioners told the bench, also comprising Justices Deepak Gupta and Sanjiv Khanna, that the matter be heard next week.
“We will see,” the bench said.
In a recent letter to Gandhi, the Home Ministry had said it has received a representation from Swamy in which it has been brought out that a company named Backops Limited was registered in the United Kingdom in 2003 with Rahul Gandhi as one of its directors.
The Home Ministry had said Swamy’s letter mentioned that in the British company’s annual returns filed on October 10, 2005 and October 31, 2006, Rahul’s date of birth has been given as June 19, 1970 and had declared his nationality as British.