Supreme Court throws out PIL on Rahul Gandhi’s ‘British citizenship’

New Delhi(PTI): The Supreme Court on Monday dismissed as “frivolous” a plea seeking a CBI probe against Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi for allegedly declaring himself as a British national before company law authorities in the United Kingdom.

Advocate ML Sharma filed a PIL in Supreme Court against Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi for allegedly declaring himself as a British national before company law authorities in the United Kingdom. (HT File Photo)

A bench comprising chief justice HL Dattu and justice Amitava Roy questioned the “authenticity of the document” attached with the PIL and the manner in which the papers were procured.

“How do we know whether these documents are authentic? Can we start making roving inquiries now?,” the bench told petitioner ML Sharma when he insisted for a hearing.
Terming the petition as “frivolous”, the court further asked him how he could raise the Congress leader’s citizenship issue in a PIL. “This cannot be in public interest,” the bench remarked.

The CJI said the court was open to hearing matters with public interest and not those singling out individuals.
Giving an example of what sort of PILs should be filed, justice Dattu recalled his visit to a mental asylum where he found that 49 inmates had only one toothbrush and a tube paste to share.

“I was told that the inmates do not have a single towel, as such they wipe themselves with their own clothes,” he said. The CJI however, did not specify which place the particular mental asylum was located or whether the court would take up the issue on its own.
The bench also asked petitioner to approach the Election Commission or a competent court to file a criminal case.

Last week, the SC had refused urgent hearing on Sharma’s petition, which was filed days after BJP leader Subramanian Swamy alleged that Rahul Gandhi has claimed himself to be a British national before authorities in the United Kingdom where he worked briefly. The alleged declaration was made in connection with incorporation of a firm.

Swamy had also written to PM Narendra Modi, demanding that Rahul be stripped of his Indian citizenship and his parliamentary membership.