A public interest litigation (PIL) seeking registration of criminal case against Congress president Sonia Gandhi in connection with the National Herald land case has been filed in the Madhya Pradesh high court on Monday. Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi and senior leader Motilal Vohra have been made respondents in the case.
All India Congress Committee president Sonia Gandhi, vice president Rahul Gandhi and Vohra were the directors of Young India Company. After taking over shares from Associated Journals, the Young India Company had sold off parts of the 1.14 acres of land in Bhopal’s MP Nagar zone-I that was given to Associated Journals Limited, publisher of National Herald, in 1981 on a lease of 30 years without the permission of Bhopal Development Authority (BDA).
The BDA had filed a suit in a Bhopal court against Associated Journal Limited for not vacating its 1.14 acres land after the expiry of the lease deed. The lease expired on April 1, 2011.
In the PIL, Bhopal resident RK Sharma has also sought direction to the BDA and the state government to initiate criminal proceedings against the Associated Journals Limited and Young India Company, New Delhi directors. He has also sought direction for an investigation by the Central Bureau of Investigation or any independent investigation agency in the matter.
The petitioner said officials of the state government and BDA did not initiate criminal proceedings against the directors of the two companies despite having knowledge of alleged illegal acts committed by them. Only civil proceedings were initiated in the National Herald newspaper land case in Bhopal, he said.
The court will hear the PIL in June.
On May 17, the court had dismissed four petitions by people having offices in the Associated Journal Limited building after they demanded to be made party in the suit against the publisher of the now-defunct National Herald newspaper.