The Ministry of Home Affairs on Tuesday issued a notice to Congress president Rahul Gandhi over his Indian citizenship, say sources. The Ministry is said to have acted on the complaint of BJP Rajya Sabha MP Subramanian Swamy who had raised questions over Rahul's citizenship.
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In the letter, the MHA has said: "It has been brought out that a Company named Backops Limited was registered in the United Kingdom in the year 2003..and that you were one of the Directors and Secretary of the said Company. It has been further brought out in the complaint that in the Company's Annual Returns filed on 10/10/2005 and 31/10/2006, your date of birth has been given as 19/06/1970 and that you had declared your nationality as British. Further, in the Dissolution application dated 17/02/2009 of the above referred company, your nationality has been mentioned as British."
The MHA has asked Rahul to submit a clarification over the issue within a fortnight.
Swamy reacted to the MHA notice with a question on Twitter.
Has MHA issued Notice on my Complaint to Buddhu on his British Citizenship today?
— Subramanian Swamy (@Swamy39) April 30, 2019
The notice comes over a week after an Independent candidate and three others in Amethi had raised objections on the Congress president's poll documents over allegations of discrepancies over citizenship and educational qualifications. Amethi's returning officer had however, deemed Rahul's nomination papers valid and rejected the objections.
In November 2015, the Supreme Court had dismissed a public interest litigation seeking a CBI investigation into the citizenship of Gandhi while noting that PIL pleas were not meant to target one individual or organisation but was a medium to resolve human suffering through good governance. A bench of then Chief Justice of India H L Dattu and justice Amitava Roy had rubbished the plea questioning the source and authenticity of the documents attached to a petition.
In 2016, Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan had forwarded to the Parliamentary Ethics Committee, headed by veteran BJP leader LK Advani, Swamy's "complaint of ethical misconduct" against Gandhi that he had accessed documents in which the Congress leader had called himself "British". In his reply to the ethics committee on the allegations of British citizenship, Gandhi had said he had never "sought or acquired British citizenship" and that his "identity is that of an Indian".
Rahul also questioned the committee's decision to look into a "complaint that is not in order", claiming it was "an endeavour to malign" him. The panel had issued him a notice, seeking an explanation to whether he had once declared himself a British citizen on the legal papers of a company in the United Kingdom.