PIL Against Rahul Gandhi’s Election as MP from RaeBareli Lok Sabha Seat Withdrawn With Liberty to Approach Appropriate Forum

On Monday, the Allahabad High Court dismissed a PIL as withdrawn with liberty to approach appropriate forum, that sought to invalidate the election of Congress leader Rahul Gandhi as the Member of Parliament (MP) from the RaeBareli Lok Sabha constituency, informed to Law Trend by Adv Anand Dwivedi assisting DSG Sr Adv Suryabhan Pandey representing Union of India

The PIL alleged that Gandhi is not an Indian citizen but a British citizen, making him ineligible to contest in the Lok Sabha polls.

The PIL was filed by S. Vignesh Shishir, a BJP worker from Karnataka. The bench hearing the case comprised Justice Rajan Roy and Justice Om Prakash Shukla.

Court Proceedings

During the proceedings, the advocate representing the Election Commission of India stated that the issues raised in the PIL could only be addressed in an election petition. Furthermore, the question of Gandhi’s citizenship had already been dismissed by the Supreme Court.

Justice Roy questioned the credentials of the petitioner, pointing out that the PIL did not mention his background. When asked for specific details, Advocate struggled to provide satisfactory responses, leading to further scrutiny from the bench.

Citizenship and Election Eligibility

Advocate Pandey argued that Rahul Gandhi held British citizenship, citing documents downloaded from the internet. Justice Roy pressed for the source and authenticity of these documents, highlighting the importance of verifying information against original records.

In response to Pandey’s claim about the Union Home Ministry’s notice to Gandhi in 2019 regarding his citizenship, Justice Roy questioned the prolonged inaction on the matter if it were indeed serious.

Petitioner’s Arguments

The petitioner, S. Vignesh Shishir, attempted to make his case personally, citing his role as a BJP Karnataka worker and his investigations into Gandhi’s alleged British citizenship. However, the court noted that such issues should have been raised before the competent authorities, such as the Election Commission, rather than through a PIL.

Court’s Conclusion

Ultimately, Justice Roy expressed dissatisfaction with the petitioner’s approach, stating that mixing election issues with citizenship questions was inappropriate. The court emphasized that relevant matters should be addressed to the appropriate authorities and therefore on request of the Petitioner the PIL was allowed to be withdrawn with liberty to approach appropriate forum.

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