Congress president Sonia Gandhi on Tuesday opposed in the Delhi High Court the private criminal complaint against her and the summons issued by a trial court in the National Herald case saying a political party is within its right to "write-off" or "assign" a loan.
"The issuance of process in this case is shocking and out of order, to say the least, and no illegality can be found either on the facts or on the law," former law minister and senior advocate Kapil Sibal, appearing for the Congress president, told a bench of Justice VK Vaish.
The trial court had issued summons to various Congress leaders on the complaint of BJP leader Subramanian Swamy who has alleged cheating and misappropriation of funds in acquiring ownership of the now-defunct daily National Herald by Young Indian (YI).
Sonia Gandhi, Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi, party treasurer Moti Lal Vora are among the directors of YI, who have been summoned.
Seeking setting aside of Swamy's complaint, Gandhi said the Associated Journals Limited (AJL), which had been publishing newspapers 'National Herald' in English, "Navjivan" in Hindi and "Quami Awaz" in Urdu, had taken loans to the tune of Rs. 90 crores from the Congress Party.
The loan, given to AJL, was assigned to YI by the Congress party and then a process of conversion of Rs. 90 crores loan was taken by AJL which then issued fresh equities in favour of charitable firm YI.
Congress Party for a monetary consideration of Rs. 50 lakhs had decided to assign Rs. 90 crores loan to YI, she maintained.