June 4, 2023

Subramanian Swamy, BJP leader and former Rajya Sabha MP,  replied to Delhi Court opposing Rahul Gandhi’s fresh passport plea saying the applicant has no valid or effective reason for the passport to be issued for 10 years.

It reads, “The application is devoid of any merit for issuance of Passport for 10 years”

Swamy argues that the court has the power to grant permission based on a comprehensive analysis of all relevant factors pertaining to justice and law, allowing them to exercise their discretion in deciding the Applicant’s litigation.

He said, NOC for the passport for the applicant may not be more than 1 year and may be reviewed annually or as deemed fit by this Court.

“The right to hold a passport, like all other Fundamental Rights, is not an absolute Right and is subject to reasonable restrictions imposed by the Government in the interest of national security, public order, morality, and prevention of crime,” Swamy added.

Why Subramanian Swamy is objecting to Rahul Gandhi’s fresh passport plea? 

Earlier this week, Gandhi approached the court for a “no objection certificate” (NOC) to obtain a new ordinary passport after surrendering his diplomatic travel document due to his disqualification as an MP. 

Subramanian Swamy appeared in court in person to oppose the application saying that it will affect the National Herald case. He told the court that as the cases were pending, allowing the applicant to travel abroad would hamper the ongoing probe.

Meanwhile, Counsel for Gandhi, Advocate Tarannum Cheema who appeared along with advocates Nikhil Bhalla and Sumit Kumar sought the grant of the no objection certificate (NOC), saying there are no criminal cases pending against him.

The applicant ceased to be a Member of Parliament in March this year following his disqualification as a member of Lok Sabha. He was convicted in a Surat court in a criminal defamation case. He surrendered his diplomatic passport and decided to apply for a fresh ordinary passport.

“By way of the present application, the applicant is seeking permission and no objection from the Court for the issuance of a fresh ordinary passport to him,” stated Rahul Gandhi’s lawyers.

What did the court say? 

The Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate, Vaibhav Mehta, noted that the bail order did not impose any travel restrictions and dismissed the request for such restrictions made by Swamy. The judge further observed that Gandhi had exercised his fundamental right to travel multiple times without seeking permission, as there were no travel restrictions in place.

(With inputs from agencies)

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