Rahul Gandhi's passport matter: A Delhi court, on Friday, allowed Congress leader Rahul Gandhi to apply for a fresh ordinary passport. After noting down the submissions of both sides, the Rouse Avenue Court's additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Vaibhav Mehta granted a 'No Objection Certificate' (NOC) which will be valid for three years
This comes after Gandhi surrendered his diplomatic passport upon his disqualification as an MP. Notably, he is an accused in the National Herald case in which BJP leader and former Rajya Sabha member Subramanian Swamy is the complainant.
Subramanian Swamy opposes Gandhi's application
During the hearing on Friday, Swamy opposed Gandhi's application, saying it was "devoid of any merit" and that the passport should be issued only for one year and renewed every year. “It is a special case. The passport should not be issued for ten years. It seems wrong,” he told the court. Swamy also contended that Gandhi's citizenship was under question since he had British citizenship.
However, the submission was opposed by Gandhi's advocate Tarannum Cheema, who claimed that two petitions asking for criminal proceedings on citizenship issues has already been dismissed by the higher courts. She urged the court to allow the passport to be issued for ten years since such relief has been granted by the higher courts in cases with much graver offences and in the present case, not even charges are framed.
Delhi court directed Swamy to file written submissions
On May 24, the Rouse Avenue Court asked Subramanian Swamy to file his written submissions by Friday while hearing the plea for a fresh passport by Rahul Gandhi, an accused in the National Herald case.
Gandhi had moved the court seeking a 'no objection certificate' (NOC) to secure a fresh "ordinary passport" after having surrendered his diplomatic travel document upon his disqualification as an MP.
In 2015, the Court while granting bail to the applicant Rahul Gandhi in the National Herald case did not put any condition on travel for the applicant and others as well, Rahul Gandhi's lawyers noted. It is worth mentioning here that the National Herald case is based on a private criminal complaint of Swamy against Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi and others, accusing them of cheating, conspiracy and criminal breach of trust.
(With inputs from agencies)