[dropcap color=”#008040″ boxed=”yes” boxed_radius=”8px” class=”” id=””]O[/dropcap]n Wednesday, India TV has reported that Ethics Committee is going to summon Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi on the British Citizenship controversy. Quoting Arjun Ram Meghwal, a prominent member of Ethics Committee of Lok Sabha, India TV reported that Rahul Gandhi’s explanation was not satisfactory and soon summons will be issued to him.
“Rahul Gandhi has not replied, it is not a reply… he has challenged the powers of the House panel to probe the matter. When the panel meets next time, it will discuss the further course of action and take appropriate step. The House panel has full right to investigate this. And if required, the panel can exercise its powers to verify the documents submitted in the Britain. Yes, we will summon him,” said Meghwal.
Arjun Ram Meghwal is a senior BJP MP and party’s Chief Whip in the Lok Sabha and his statement is a harbinger of what the Congress party can expect in the coming days. Lok Sabha’s Ethics Committee is headed by LK Advani and the BJP and NDA allies have a complete majority in the panel with a total of 15 MPs.
[dropcap color=”#008040″ boxed=”yes” boxed_radius=”8px” class=”” id=””]R[/dropcap]ahul Gandhi’s British Citizenship issue is racked up by none other than the irrepressible Subramanian Swamy by producing Rahul’s own affidavit to the British Company Registrar, declaring himself as a British Citizen. In several documents Rahul had declared himself as a British Citizen for floating a company called Backops Limited in London. Rahul also gave a London address (2 – Frognal Way in London) to the British Company Registrar of Companies (ROC) terming himself as a resident. These documents were exposed by Swamy in November 2015. Swamy promptly complained to the Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan and BJP MP Maheish Girri also wrote to the Speaker for probing into Swamy’s complaint which led to the referring of the matter to Ethics Committee.
Except saying “we will deal with it” or “I am an Indian Citizen”, Rahul Gandhi has not clarified why he filed in ROC that he was a British Citizen. Rahul never replied to the Ethics Committee about the allegations by Swamy. He just questioned the power to the Ethics panel blaming Swamy.
Swamy also filed another complaint to the Enforcement Directorate which shows in the same London address of Backops Limited, a bank account that was opened in Barclays Bank in the name of Raul Vinci. This account, opened in 1994, was maintained till December 2014. It is interesting to note that bank account was closed within six months of the BJP government coming to power. Everyone knows the norms required for opening a bank account – Know Your Customer (KYC). The question then is, how did the bank accept the name Raul Vinci?
What are the procedures to be adopted by Ethics Committee?
After summoning, it will be a harrowing time for Rahul Gandhi to appear before the panel to face the questions of MPs. Subramanian Swamy and Mahesh Girri would love to appear before the panel to put forward the documents showing Rahul’s declaration as British Citizen. After hearing all the parties, the Ethics panel would refer the matter for a thorough investigation by seeking reports from Ministry of Home Affairs and External Affairs. Then the investigation will lead to UK’s Registrar of Companies and citizenship acquiring and Barclays Bank which had an account in the name of Raul Vinci. If the investigation findings go against Rahul Gandhi, he may most likely lose his Lok Sabha membership and Indian citizenship too. Will this case open a Pandora’s Box of others who are keeping secret British Passports for enjoying a plush life in London? Only time will tell.
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