SC junks plea for probe into Rahul citizenship row

New Delhi, Nov 30 (IANS) The Supreme Court on Monday rejected a PIL seeking a CBI probe into the citizenship row of Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi.

A bench of Chief Justice H.L. Dattu and Justice Amitava Roy dismissed the PIL filed by lawyer M.L. Sharma, saying PILs cannot be individual-centric.

To buttress its point, the court referred to one of its recent judgments which said “in issues pertaining to good governance, the courts ought to be somewhat more liberal in entertaining public interest litigation. However, in matters that may not be of moment or a litigation essentially directed against one organization or individual ought not to be entertained or should be rarely entertained”.

The court on Monday also noted that”other remedies are also available to public spirited litigants and they should be encouraged to avail of such remedies”.

Referring to one of his visits to psychiatric schools where the teacher told him that she had just one tooth brush for 49 students and there was no towel and after a bath, they used their own clothes to dry their bodies, Chief Justice Dattu said that one can understand a PIL seeking direction that all the 49 students should be provided with tooth brush, tooth paste and towels.

Underscoring that PILs could not be on narrow issues or individual-centric, the court also questioned Sharma about the authenticity of the documents he had placed before the court to back his plea for the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probe.

It was not persuaded when PIL petitioner advocate Sharma told the court that he got these documents from the website of Britain’s registrar general of United Kingdom.

It even questioned Sharma about not annexing the representation made to the investigating agency.

The PIL is centred around an alleged declaration by Gandhi declaring himself a British citizen in the documents of a now-dissolved Britain-based company. The issue was first raised by the Bharatiya Janata Party leader Subramanian Swamy but was stoutly denied by the Congress.

 

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