Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Subramanian Swamy on Wednesday opposed Congress leader Rahul Gandhi’s plea for the grant of a fresh passport and said that if the former MP is allowed to travel abroad, it may hamper the probe in the National Herald case.
The Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate (ACMM) Vaibhav Mehta granted time to Subramanian Swamy to file a reply in the matter and posted it for May 26, 2023, for further hearing.
Subramanian Swamy, who is the complainant in the National Herald case, appeared in person and opposed the application.
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 applicant ceased to be a Member of Parliament in March this year following his disqualification as a member from Lok Sabha. He was convicted a Surat court in a criminal defamation case. He surrendered his diplomatic passport and has 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.
They 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 no travel restrictions.
In 2015, the Ccurt 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.
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.
This report is filed by ANI news service.