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Business News/ News / India/  ‘The right to travel…,’ What court said on Subramanian Swamy opposing Rahul Gandhi's fresh passport plea

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday moved a Delhi court seeking a no objection certificate to secure a fresh "ordinary passport" after having surrendered his diplomatic travel document upon his disqualification as an MP. However, Senior BJP leader Subramanian Swamy opposed the plea saying that if the former MP is allowed to travel abroad, it may hamper the ongoing probe.

Why Rahul Gandhi surrendered his diplomatic passport? 

Gandhi surrendered his diplomatic passport and was disqualified as an MP on March 26 after being convicted in a criminal defamation case in Surat. The case stemmed from his remark about the surname "Modi."

He applied for a new passport for his upcoming visit to the U.S. On June 4, he is expected to address a public rally at New York's Madison Square Garden, concluding his week-long tour that includes a talk at Stanford University. It will be his first public rally in the U.S.

Why Subramanian Swamy is opposing it? 

Subramanian Swamy appeared in court 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.

What did the court say?

The court said the matter is pending since 2018 and Rahul Gandhi has been travelling abroad. There is no such apprehension that he will flee away or abscond. The right to travel is a fundamental right, said the court.

Rahul Gandhi's counsels Tarranum Cheema along with advocates Nikhil Bhalla and Sumit Kumar also submitted that there are no criminal proceedings pending and that travelling abroad is a fundamental right.

The National Herald case, currently being probed by the Enforcement Directorate on the orders of a trial court, is related to a private complaint filed by Dr. Swamy in 2012 in which he alleged that the assets of Associated Journals Ltd., which published the National Herald newspaper, were fraudulently acquired and transferred to Young Indian, in which Sonia Gandhi and her son Mr. Rahul Gandhi owned 38% shares each.

(With inputs from agencies)

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Updated: 26 May 2023, 09:48 AM IST
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