A Delhi court on Friday granted Congress leader Rahul Gandhi permission to get an ordinary passport for three years, reported PTI.
Gandhi had moved the court seeking a no-objection certificate for 10 years after he surrendered his diplomatic passport upon his disqualification as a member of the Lok Sabha. The politician had lost his Parliament membership on March 24, a day after a Gujarat court sentenced him to two years in prison in a criminal defamation case.
“I’m partly allowing your application,” Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Vaibhav Mehta said, according to Bar and Bench. “Not for 10 years but three years.”
Gandhi needed the clearance from the court to obtain a passport as he is an accused in, among others, the National Herald case filed by Bharatiya Janata Party leader Subramanian Swamy.
In April 2008, the newspaper had suspended operations as it incurred a debt of over Rs 90 crore. Swamy has accused former Congress chief Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi of setting up the Young Indian Private Limited firm to buy the debt using the funds from their party.
Swamy had opposed Rahul Gandhi’s plea saying that there is no valid reason for the Congress leader to be given a passport for 10 years, according to The Indian Express. He had urged that the court give the no-objection certificate only for a year.
At the last hearing in the case, Justice Mehta had observed that the right to travel is a fundamental right and that courts have placed no restrictions on the movement of the Congress leader.