In a reprieve for Rahul Gandhi in the middle of the national election, a petition questioning his citizenship was dismissed today by the Supreme Court.
The petition filed by two Delhi residents wanted the Supreme Court to direct the government to decide whether Rahul Gandhi was a British citizen and whether he should be allowed to contest the Lok Sabha elections from Amethi and Wayanad, and then "fill a seat" in parliament.
The petitioners - Jai Bhagwan Goyal and Chander Prakash Tyagi - had said that in a form along with the annual data of a UK-based company in 2005-06, it was allegedly mentioned that Rahul Gandhi is a British citizen.
"If some company in some form mentions his nationality as British, does he become a British citizen," the top court bench, headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi, said.
Last month, Rahul Gandhi was asked by the government to respond within 15 days to a complaint that he is a British citizen. The complaint was from BJP parliamentarian Subramanian Swamy, who has for years been accusing the Congress president of lying about his nationality.
Rahul Gandhi was asked to give a "factual" reply on his citizenship. India does not allow dual nationality and only Indian citizens can contest elections.
The request filed in the top court had said that the petitioners were "dissatisfied" with the "inaction" of the centre and the Election Commission in "deciding the question of voluntary acquisition of British citizenship" by Rahul Gandhi in spite of a November 2015 communication by Subramanian Swamy.
Subramanian Swamy, a fierce critic of the Gandhis, first raised the allegation in 2015 in a complaint to the ethics committee of parliament, and has repeated it several times since.
The petitioners also wanted a direction to the Election Commission to remove Mr Gandhi's name from the "electoral roll till the decision of the question of acquisition of his British citizenship".
In 2015, the Supreme Court dismissed another petition on Rahul Gandhi's citizenship and had called it "too frivolous and an attempt to start a roving inquiry".
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