A local Delhi court has ordered Congress President Sonia Gandhi and Vice President Rahul Gandhi to appear before it in a case alleging misappropriation of funds.
Metropolitan magistrate Gomati Monacha of the Patiala House courts on Thursday said there was “prima facie” evidence to summon the two as accused in a case filed by BJP leader Subramanian Swamy in which he had alleged that the Congress’ first family had used party funds to grab funds and properties of National Herald.
“Complainant has established a prima facie case against the accused under section 403 (dishonest misappropriation of property), 406 (criminal breach of trust) and 420 (cheating) read with section 120B (criminal conspiracy) of IPC. Hence, let the accused Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi, Moti Lal Vohra, Oscar Fernandes, Suman Dubey and Sam Pitroda be summoned for August 7, 2014. Let the Young Indian be summoned through its authorised representative for the same date,” said Manocha.
The National Herald was established by Nehru in 1938 and shut shop in 2008. It was later taken over in 2010. Swamy claims that National Herald was built through state subsidies and granted a huge land largesse, which was worth over Rs 2,000 cr.
He alleged in his petition that both Sonia and Rahul, who together have a 76% stake in a company that took over the debts of National Herald publisher Associated Journals Ltd (AJL), used party funds to acquire ownership over these properties.
He accuses the two of using party funds worth Rs 50 lakhs to acquire the right to recover Rs 90 crores debt owed to the Congress by AJL.
The company that took over the debts is called Young Indian and was incorporated in 2010.
“From the complaint and evidence led so far, it appears that Young Indian was in fact created as a sham or a cloak to convert public money to personal use or as a special purpose vehicle for acquiring control over Rs2000 cr worth of assets of The AJL.
Since all the accused persons have allegedly acted in consortium with each other to achieve the nefarious design, there are sufficient grounds for proceeding against all of them,” the court order said.