New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Thursday dismissed the petition seeking to direct the Election Commission of India (ECI) to debar Congress President Rahul Gandhi from contesting the Lok Sabha polls after he had “voluntarily acquired British nationality”. The top court asked, “Just because a paper notes his citizenship as British, does he become a British citizen?”

The bench led by Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi reportedly said, “Who doesn’t want to become the PM? Everyone among 130 crore would want to become the PM. It is a healthy aspiration.”

“If some company in some form mentions his nationality as British, does he become a British citizen,” the bench also comprising Justices Deepak Gupta and Sanjiv Khanna told the petitioners.

“We dismiss the petition. There is no merit in the petition,” said CJI Ranjan Gogoi.

After Bharatiya Janata Party leader (BJP) Subramanian Swamy filed a complaint in 2017 concerning Rahul Gandhi’s “British” citizenship, the home ministry on May 1, 2019, sent a notice to the Congress President seeking a response on the same.

Notably, Swamy, the firebrand BJP leader had alleged that a company named Backops Limited was registered in the United Kingdom in the year 2003 and that Gandhi was one of the Directors and Secretary of the company. He also claimed that the Congress president had declared his nationality as British in a UK-based company.