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HC dismisses Sonia & Rahul Gandhi’s plea in ‘National Herald Case’

On 8th December 2015, the Delhi High Court dismissed the plea of Congress president Sonia Gandhi and vice president Rahul Gandhi to quash the summons issued by trial court in the National Herald case (more about it here).

Along with the Gandhi family five other accused — Suman Dubey, Moti Lal Vohra, Oscar Fernandes, Sam Pitroda and Young India Ltd (YI) had challenged the trial court summons on a complaint by BJP’s Subramanian Swamy against them for alleged cheating and misappropriation of funds in taking control of the now-defunct daily.

Dismissing their appeals, the High Court bench, in a 27-page judgment, noted that YI was a “special purpose vehicle” created by the Congress leaders and the “questionable conduct of the petitioners needs to be properly examined… to find out the truth”.

Sonia and Rahul Gandhi
Sonia and Rahul Gandhi

The High Court bench queried the need for transfer of the interest-free loan of Rs 90.25 crore extended to Associated Journals Limited (AJL), publisher of National Herald, to Young India Limited (YI) for Rs 50 lakh. The court observed that the special procedure depicted “criminal intent”.

“Even writing off such a huge debt by the Congress party can legitimately attract allegations of cheating, fraud, etc. Petitioners had gone a step further in conspiring to get this huge debt assigned to a special purpose vehitcle i.e. YI and thereafter, to hijack AJL via YI.”

In the mean time, counsels for the Gandhis will seek time to prepare a petition to be filed in Supreme Court challenging the Delhi High Court also calling Swamy’s complaints as part of the “BJP’s petty vendetta politics”.

Swamy on the other hand said he would be filing a notice before the Supreme Court if Congress leaders were to challenge the order in the apex court.

Source: Indian Express