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Relief for Rahul Gandhi as SC dismisses plea seeking to have Congress chief debarred from polls, says no merit in 'British citizenship' claim

In a relief for Congress president Rahul Gandhi, the Supreme Court on Thursday dismissed a petition seeking to direct the Election Commission to debar him from contesting the Lok Sabha election for "voluntarily acquiring British nationality".

"We cannot rely on a paper note to call Rahul a British national," the apex court said, dismissing the plea over Rahul's citizenship.

The petition had sought to keep Rahul from contesting the polls and becoming an MP in future for allegedly acquiring British citizenship.

On 1 May, the Ministry of Home Affairs had sent Rahul a notice, seeking his response to a complaint filed by BJP leader Subramanian Swamy in 2017. Swamy had alleged that Rahul's nationality was registered as "British" in the annual returns of a firm registered in the United Kingdom.

When the allegations were first made, the Congress had made public the firm's certificate of incorporation, which showed that Rahul's nationality was registered as Indian. Swamy's had made the complaint on the basis of an entry Rahul made while filing his annual tax returns. It was later clarified that the British reference was an inadvertent error.

Moreover, Rahul's contenders from Amethi had also sought to have his nomination cancelled, making the same allegations. The Returning Officer, however, had declared his nomination papers valid and dismissed the complaints.

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Updated Date: May 09, 2019 12:14:55 IST