The Supreme Court (SC) on Thursday dismissed a plea seeking to direct the Election Commission to debar Congress president Rahul Gandhi from contesting the Lok Sabha election after he had “voluntarily acquired British nationality.” The petition was filed in SC by two Delhi residents after BJP MP Subramanian Swamy had alleged that the record of a British company shows that the Congress president still holds British citizenship.
In the plea, the petitioner had also urged the apex court to issue a direction to Home Ministry to take a decision on the complaint received against Rahul's dual citizenship. The petitioner had also urged the court to debar the Congress chief from contesting the election. Junking the plea, the SC questioned the petitioner that what has prompted him to come to the court now. "Just because a paper notes his citizenship as British, does he become a British citizen?" said the SC. "We dismiss the petition. There is no merit in the petition," said CJI Ranjan Gogoi.
The petitioner had also said that Rahul is aspiring to become the prime minister of India but he should not be allowed to become the PM because of his 'dual citizenship'. Replying to this, CJI Gogoi said, “Who doesn't want to become the PM? Everyone among 130 crore would want to become the PM. It is a healthy aspiration.”
It may be recalled that on May 1, a notice was sent by the Home Ministry to Rahul Gandhi seeking a response to charges that he held British citizenship. The Home Ministry sought response from the Congress chief over a complaint filed by Subramanian Swamy in 2017.
In the notice, the MHA had 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."