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The application was moved in the National Herald Case filed by Former MP and BJP Leader Subramanian Swamy against Gandhi in the Rouse Avenue Court.
A Delhi Court on Friday granted Congress leader Rahul Gandhi a no-objection certificate (NOC) for the issuance of a fresh passport for three years.
Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate (ACMM) Vaibhav Mehta of Rouse Avenue Court said, “I am partly allowing your application. Not for 10 years but 3 years”.
Gandhi had moved the court after he surrendered his diplomatic passport upon his disqualification as a Member of Parliament (MP).
The application was moved in the National Herald Case filed by former MP and BJP Leader Subramanian Swamy against Gandhi in the Rouse Avenue Court. He had sought a NOC for the issuance of passport for 10 years.
Defamation case and Gandhi's conviction:
In 2019, Gandhi in a poll rally at Kolar in Karnataka, said, “How come all thieves have Modi as the common surname”. Thereafter, a defamation case was filed against Gandhi by Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP) MLA and former Gujarat Minister Purnesh Modi, under Sections 499 and 500 of the Indian Penal Code.
On March 23, 2023, the Congress leader who was then a parliamentarian from Wayanad, Kerala, was convicted by Surat District Court and sentenced to two years in jail. This conviction led to Gandhi's disqualification from his membership in Lok Sabha.
Appeal and plea for stay on conviction:
Gandhi then filed an appeal before the Sessions Court, Gujarat. Also, the appeal being pending, Gandhi moved an interim application seeking a stay on his conviction. Senior Advocate RS Cheema appearing for Gandhi had argued that the trial in the matter was not fair and the decision of the magistrate court was strange. He had alleged that the judge had made a "hotchpotch" of all the evidence on record.
However, the Sessions Court rejected the Congress leader's plea while noting in the order that "Rahul Gandhi failed to demonstrate that by not staying the conviction and denying an opportunity to contest the election, an irreversible and irrevocable damage will be caused to him".
Gandhi then filed an appeal before the Gujarat High Court against the decision of the Sessions Court and the same is pending. The High Court is to pronounce the final verdict post vacations.
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