Congress leader Rahul Gandhi can now get an ordinary passport as the Rouse Avenue Court of Delhi granted no object certificate to him or three years on his application seeking the same for issuance of a fresh non-diplomatic passport. The additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Vaibhav Mehta on Friday after noting down the submissions of both sides, passed the order at 1 pm today. Former Rajya Sabha MP Subramanian Swamy has filed the reply in the Delhi Court, opposing Rahul Gandhi’s plea and submitted that the Applicant (Rahul Gandhi) has no-valid or effective reason for the passport to be issued for 10 years.
In the reply, it is submitted that “The application is devoid of any merit for issuance of Passport for 10 years” Advocate Tarannum Cheema appearing for Rahul Gandhi said that there is no condition in the bail orders about the Applicant. “People who have been involved in graver offences have been granted passports for ten years. It includes 2G and Coal scam etc. Issuance of passport for ten years is given as a matter of routine,” advocate Cheema added.
Swamy in reply submitted that the court may exercise the discretion to grant permission after scrutinizing and analyzing all other correlated matters in deciding on the litigation of the Applicant in the broad spectrum of areas of justice and law. Swamy further stated that at this stage, the NOC for the passport for the Applicant may not be more than one 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. On May 24, the Rouse Avenue Court asked Subramanian Swamy to file his written submissions by Friday while hearing the plea for a fresh passport by Rahul Gandhi, an accused in the National Herald case.
Gandhi had moved the court seeking a ‘no objection certificate’ (NOC) to secure a fresh “ordinary passport” after having surrendered his diplomatic travel document upon his disqualification as an MP. 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 2023 and as such he surrendered his diplomatic passport and is applying for a fresh ordinary passport. By way of the present application, the applicant is seeking permission and no objection from this Court for issuance of a fresh ordinary passport to him.”
Rahul Gandhi’s Advocates submitted that there are no criminal proceedings pending and that travelling abroad is a fundamental right. 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. The lawyer also added that the complainant’s request to put restrictions on travel was rejected in 2015. Moreover, since the bail order, the applicant has travelled several times without permission as no permission was required and there are no travel restrictions.
In 2015, the Court while granting bail to the applicant Rahul Gandhi in the National Herald case did not put any condition on travel for the applicant and others as well, Rahul Gandhi’s lawyers noted. Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday moved Delhi’s Rouse Avenue Court seeking no objection for the issuance of a fresh ordinary passport to him. The National Herald case is being argued in a Delhi court and was filed by Subramanian Swamy against Congress leaders Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi and some persons associated with them.