New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Thursday junked a petition that sought directions to the Centre and the Election Commission (EC) to bar Congress chief Rahul Gandhi from contesting the Lok Sabha elections till allegations over his citizenship were resolved, said reports.
The petitioners cited a form and the annual data of a UK-based company according to which Rahul was a British citizen.
“If some company in some form mentions his nationality as British, does he become a British citizen?” the bench, comprising Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justices Deepak Gupta and Sanjiv Khanna asked the petitioners.
The plea was filed by Delhi residents Jai Bhagwan Goyal and C P Tyagi. The petitioners had reportedly said they were “social and public-spirited persons” and pointed out that as per section 29A of the Representation of the People Act, 1981, only Indian citizens are entitled to register a political party.
They alleged that Rahul was contesting polls despite proof of his loss of Indian citizenship. They also claimed the Congress chief had “acquired British citizenship voluntarily”.
Earlier, the Ministry of Home Affairs had also issued a notice to Rahul in connection with a complaint filed by BJP MP Subramanian Swamy raising questions over his citizenship. The ministry had directed the Congress leader to “intimate the factual position on this matter”.
However, the Congress later released the “original certificate of incorporation” of the company quoted in the MHA notice and argued it clearly showed that Rahul was an Indian.
The Congress chief had also told Parliament’s ethics committee that he had never “sought or acquired British citizenship”, and that his “identity is that of an Indian”.
Reacting to the MHA notice and the plea, Rahul’s sister and Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra had said, “I have never heard such rubbish. All (the people) know Rahul Gandhi was born (and) raised here. The entire Hindustan knows that Rahul Gandhi is a Hindustani…he was born here…brought up in front of them…he grew up here…. What rubbish is this?”