The Union Home Ministry has refused to share details on its notice to Congress president Rahul Gandhi following a complaint questioning his Indian citizenship, citing provisions of the RTI Act barring disclosure of information that will, among other things, impede the investigation.
During the campaign season in April, the Home Ministry served a notice to Mr. Gandhi asking him to clarify within 14 days about his “factual position” on a complaint by BJP’s Rajya Sabha MP Subramanian Swamy questioning his citizenship status.
In an RTI application, the ministry was asked to provide a copy of the notice to Rahul Gandhi and details of the response received from him. And the response from the ministry said, “The information sought cannot be disclosed under Section 8 (1) (h) and (j) of the RTI Act.”
Section 8 (1) (h) bars disclosure of “information which would impede the process of investigation or apprehension or prosecution of offenders” and Provision (j) bars “information which relates to personal information the disclosure of which has no relationship to any public activity or interest, or which would cause unwarranted invasion of the privacy of the individual..”.
Citing Swamy’s letter, the Home Ministry said in its notice that it has been brought out that a company named Backops Limited was registered in the United Kingdom in 2003 with Mr. Gandhi as one of its directors. Additionally Swamy’s letter said that the British company’s annual returns filed on October 10, 2005 and October 31, 2006, Rahul Gandhi’s date of birth has been given as June 19, 1970, and he declared his nationality as British.
Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi had then said, “I have never heard such rubbish. All know Rahul Gandhi was born, raised here.”
In November 2015, the Supreme Court dismissed a public interest litigation (PIL) seeking a CBI investigation into Rahul Gandhi’s citizenship. It noted that the pleas were not meant to target one individual or organisation but were a medium to resolve human suffering through good governance.
Source : Various