Passport Battle: Rahul Gandhi Receives Limited Term Approval
New Delhi, 26, May 2023: In a recent development, a Delhi court has granted Congress leader Rahul Gandhi permission to obtain a regular passport for a duration of three years. This comes after he voluntarily surrendered his diplomatic passport following his disqualification from the Lok Sabha.
The Rouse Avenue Court has approved Gandhi's request for a no-objection certificate (NOC), albeit for a shorter period of three years instead of the ten years he had initially sought. Consequently, after the three-year period, Gandhi will need to approach the court again to obtain a renewed NOC.
Gandhi's disqualification as a Member of Parliament occurred subsequent to his conviction in a criminal defamation case on March 23. The case was filed against him by former Gujarat minister Purnesh Modi, who argued that Gandhi had insulted individuals sharing the surname "Modi" with certain remarks made during a 2019 election rally. In his statement, Gandhi had said, "Nirav Modi, Lalit Modi, Narendra Modi. How come all thieves have 'Modi' as a common surname?"
As a result, a magistrate's court in Surat sentenced Gandhi to two years in prison, which automatically led to his disqualification from the parliamentary body. Although a sessions judge declined to stay the verdict, the court did provide some relief to Gandhi by suspending his sentence until the finalization of his appeal. Currently, the matter is pending in the Gujarat High Court, with a verdict expected next month.
The BJP leader and complainant in the National Herald case against the Gandhis, Subramaniyan Swamy, opposed Gandhi's appeal for a new passport.
The decision by the Delhi court marks a significant development in Rahul Gandhi's legal proceedings and his ability to obtain a regular passport for a limited period.