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SC dismisses plea to debar Rahul Gandhi from contesting LS polls

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New Delhi, May 09: The Supreme Court on Thursday dismissed the petition seeking to direct the Election Commission of India (ECI) to debar Congress President Rahul Gandhi from contesting the Lok Sabha polls after he had "voluntarily acquired British nationality."

The Home Ministry had recently served a notice to Gandhi asking him to clarify within a fortnight his "factual position" on a complaint questioning his citizenship status.

SC dismisses plea to debar Rahul Gandhi from contesting LS polls

The plea filed in the top court has said that the petitioners were "dissatisfied" with the "inaction" of the Centre and the poll panel in "deciding the question of voluntary acquisition of British citizenship" by Gandhi in spite of a November 2015 communication by BJP leader Subramanian Swamy in this regard.

The petitioners -- Jai Bhagwan Goyal and C P Tyagi -- have alleged that since prima facie evidence in this regard has been produced before the Home Ministry and the EC, Gandhi should not have been allowed to contest the ongoing Lok Sabha elections from parliamentary constituencies he has decided to -- Amethi in Utter Pradesh and Wayanad in Kerala.

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The plea, filed by advocate Barun Kumar Sinha, also sought a direction to the EC to remove Gandhi's name from "electoral roll till the decision of the question of acquisition of his British citizenship". The plea was mentioned for urgent listing before a bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi.

The lawyer appearing for the petitioners told the bench, also comprising Justices Deepak Gupta and Sanjiv Khanna, that the matter be heard today.

In a recent letter to Gandhi, the Home Ministry had said it has received a representation from Swamy in which it has been brought out that a company named Backops Limited was registered in the United Kingdom in 2003 with Rahul Gandhi as one of its directors.

The Home Ministry had said Subramanian Swamy's letter mentioned that in the British company's annual returns filed on October 10, 2005 and October 31, 2006, Rahul Gandhi's date of birth has been given as June 19, 1970 and had declared his nationality as British.

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