The Supreme Court on Thursday dismissed a petition that claimed that Congress President Rahul Gandhi had dual citizenship and was not eligible to get elected to Parliament.
The Bench of Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi, Justices Deepak Gupta and Sanjiv Khanna dismissed the petition. The CJI quipped, “Some company in some form has mentioned Rahul Gandhi as a British national, so does he become a British citizen? Dismissed,” reported law portal Bar & Bench.
Last week, the Hindu Mahasabha among others had filed the petition alleging that Rahul Gandhi had acquired British citizenship, and that the Election Commission be directed to decide on the question of his eligibility to contest the ongoing elections.
The Ministry of Home Affairs had sent a letter to the Congress President asking him to clear the air. The letter was then leaked in the social media from where select TV channels picked it up and held prime time discussions.
BJP’s Rajya Sabha Member Subramanian Swamy, who has been alleging that the Congress President was a ‘foreign national’, tweeted saying that there was no way Rahul Gandhi could get elected and become the Prime Minister.
The court questioned what prompted the petitioners to approach the apex court. “Just because a paper notes his citizenship as British, does he become a British citizen,” wondered an acerbic Chief Justice of India.
When the counsel for the petitioner said the Congress President was aspiring to become the Prime Minister of this country, the CJI in a lighter vein asked, “who doesn’t want to become the PM? Everyone among 130 Crore would want to become the PM. It is a healthy aspiration’.
When the lawyer again raised his objection, the CJI exclaimed, “He is not aspiring to be PM. But if people of this country ask you to be PM, will you mind it?
The CJI asked the petitioner Jai Bhagwan Goyal, ‘who are you?’ Goyal, the court was informed, was a public-spirited person and a social worker. The CJI quipped, “So, you are in the politics of social work?”
The Bharatiya Janata Party had put up an independent candidate in Amethi Lok Sabha constituency also to raise objections on the ground of citizenship and had pleaded with the Returning Officer to reject Congress President’s nomination. The objections were overruled.
The Congress has consistently maintained that Rahul Gandhi is an Indian citizen by birth and that he has never held any other Passport issued by any other country.