The Centre has come out in support of Supriya Sule, daughter of Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar, who is a member of parliament (MP) from Baramati. The Centre submitted a report in the Bombay High Court confirming that Sule is an Indian citizen and that she had not acquired citizenship of Singapore as claimed in an election petition file against her.
The report was submitted in reply to an election petition filed against Sule by Mrinalini Kakade, who lost the last Lok Sabha polls against Sule. Kakade wanted Sule to be declared a non-Indian since she acquired citizenship of Singapore by purchasing property there. As per rules in Singapore, a person has to be a citizen of Singapore to be able to purchase property.
Kakade had filed a separate application with the ministry of home affairs (MHA) against Sule’s citizenship. However, she had not received any reply from the MHA.
Following the high court’s directions, MHA filed an affidavit stating that before passing any order in Kakade’s application, it had sought reply from the Maharashtra government on proof of Sule’s nationality and domicile.
The Maharashtra government had submitted proofs to the MHA proving that Sule was born in Pune; she graduated from Mumbai University and owns three plots of land in Pune district. A certificate was issued by the talati of Baramati stating that Sule is a permanent resident of Pawar Bungalow. Also, in the voter’s list of Baramati Vidhan Sabha constituency, Sule’s name figures at number 501. Besides, even Sule’s passport says that she is an Indian citizen.
MHA dismissed Kakade’s application and ruled that Sule was Indian national and there was no need for further enquiry.
The Centre’s report dated September 24, 2010, emphasises that there is no law in Singapore, which says that a person purchasing property in that country, automatically becomes its citizen.
Sule's advocate Mohan Jaykar said the government has to decide on citizenship of any person under provisions of the Citizenship Act. A court cannot decide this, added Jaykar.
However, Vaibhav Parshurami, Kakade’s advocate, informed the court that Kakade would be filing a fresh petition challenging the decision of MHA dismissing her application. The high court has kept the matter for hearing in November.