Congress president Sonia Gandhi and her son and party vice president Rahul Gandhi today knocked the doors of the apex court against the Delhi High Court order in the National Herald case. Senior advocate and party functionary Dr Abhishek Manu Singhvi moved the petition on their behalf. Delhi High Court has recently granted bail to both Sonia and Rahul and posted the matter for further hearing on February 20.
BJP leader Dr Subramanian Swamy has filed a cheating case on both the leaders alleging that they had acquired the Associate Journals Limited, which published National Herald newspaper, by Young India Limited in which both Sonia and Rahul own 38 per cent stake each.
National Herald was once Congress’ mouth-piece. While Sonia and Rahul took away major stake, the rest was shared by senior congress leaders Motilal Vora and Oscar Fernades. All of them were members of the YIL (Young India Limited) board. Swamy’s charge was they had gained assets worth Rs 2000 crore and usurped publication rights of National Herald and Quami Awaz news dailies. Going by the present rates of real estate, the properties worth even more- roughly around Rs 5000 crore. Swamy has also named technocrat Sam Pitroda and journalist Suman Dubey in his petition.
Dr Swamy’s allegations went further that AJL (Associate Journals Pvt Ltd) got an interest-free loan of Rs 90.25 crore and the loan was not repaid which is a violation of Section 269T of Income Tax Act.
Motilal Vora was chairman of AJL and in his capacity he got the assets of the company transferred to the newly floated one YIL and the debt was shown as just Rs 50 lakhs, which is nothing but cheat, swamy said.
The case has taken political overtones and Congress has charged that it is political vendetta by the BJP. But the ruling coalition dismissed it saying the matter is a serious economic crime committed by the Congress biggies and the Congress should come out clean from the courts.