After Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, an accused in the National Herald case, on Tuesday moved the Rouse Avenue court seeking a ‘no objection certificate’ for the issuance of a fresh ‘ordinary passport,’ the court on Wednesday posted the hearing on the plea on May 26.
Gandhi, who was disqualified as a Lok Sabha MP on March 26 following his conviction by a court in Surat in a criminal defamation case in the ‘Modi surname case’, has surrendered his diplomatic passport that MPs are entitled to.
Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Vaibhav Mehta posted the matter on Friday for a response from Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Subramanian Swamy, who is the complainant in the National Herald case.
The court had on December 19, 2015 granted bail to Gandhi and others in the case.
Subramanian Swamy opposes
Meanwhile, Swamy on Wednesday opposed the plea filed by Rahul Gandhi seeking issuance of a fresh passport.
According to Swamy, if Gandhi is allowed to travel abroad, it may hamper the investigation in the National Herald case which pertains to the assignment of a Rs 90 crore loan advanced by the Congress party to Associated Journals Ltd (AJL), the owner of the National Herald, to Young Indian for a consideration of Rs 50 lakh, as reported by Bar and Bench.
In his private complaint, Swamy had accused Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi, Motilal Vora, Oscar Fernandes, Suman Dubey, Sam Pitroda and Gandhi family-controlled Young Indian of cheating, criminal conspiracy, criminal breach of trust and misappropriation of property.
Rahul Gandhi’s disqualification as an MP
In 2019, Gandhi had, in his speech, said, “Nirav Modi, Lalit Modi, Narendra Modi. How come all the thieves have ‘Modi’ as a common surname?”
Purnesh Modi, a former BJP MLA, took exception to the comments made by the Congress leader claiming that Gandhi humiliated and defamed persons with the Modi surname.
The magistrate court in Surat accepted the contention of Modi that by his speech, Gandhi has intentionally insulted the people with a ‘Modi’ surname.
A sessions judge refused to stay the Magistrate court conviction. Appeal against the same is pending before the High Court which is slated to pronounce its verdict in June.