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National Herald case: Sonia, Rahul term BJP’s Subramanian Swamy’s plea as ‘malafide’

The Gandhis and four other Congress leaders, against whom the complaint has been made, also said the BJP leader’s plea was ‘a ploy to delay proceedings in the case’.

india Updated: Aug 05, 2017 19:36 IST
Press Trust of India, New Delhi
National Herald case,Sonia Gandhi,Rahul Gandhi
Congress president Sonia Gandhi with party vice-president Rahul Gandhi(PTI File Photo)

Congress president Sonia Gandhi and vice president Rahul Gandhi on Saturday termed as “malafide” a plea of BJP leader Subramanian Swamy seeking some documents from the party in the National Herald case.

Gandhis, in their reply filed before a court here, said Swamy’s plea was “an attempt to make out a new case”.

The Gandhis and four other Congress leaders, against whom the complaint has been made, also said the BJP leader’s plea was “a ploy to delay proceedings in the case” and “an absolute disgrace for the precious time of the court and of the larger judicial process”.

“Such an approach is impermissible in law. The endeavour of the complainant to have access to documents and then decide what his case actually shall be, displays the malafide nature of the current application,” the Congress politicians said.

The reply said that Swamy has been making “persistent efforts” to have access to documents by filing applications.

The BJP politician, meanwhile, filed a set of documents of around 450 pages reportedly relating to the Congress party, National Herald and others before Metropolitan Magistrate Lovleen to seek a response from the accused as to whether those were correct.

The court posted the matter for further hearing on September 23.

Swamy, in his complaint, has accused the Gandhis and the others of conspiring to cheat and misappropriate funds by paying just Rs 50 lakh through which the Young Indian Pvt Ltd (YI) obtained the right to recover Rs 90.25 crore that the Associate Journals Limited (AJL) owed to the Congress.

The Gandhis and the other accused — senior party leaders Motilal Vora, Oscar Fernandes, Suman Dubey and Sam Pitroda — have denied the allegations levelled against them.

Swamy has sought documents from the AJL, including a copy of the bank statement filed with the registrar of companies (ROC), the minutes of a meeting in which decision to convert the loan into share capital was taken, the balance sheet, the profit and loss account, along with the auditor’s report in the year in which the loan was granted.

The documents sought from the Congress include the minutes of the meeting of the Congress Working Committee authorising the loan waiver from the AJL to the YI and a copy of the loan agreement between the Congress and the AJL.

The court had summoned the accused persons, besides the YI on June 26, 2014.

On December 19, 2015, it had granted bail to Sonia, Rahul, Vora, Fernandes and Dubey, who had appeared before it pursuant to summonses. Pitroda was granted bail on February 20, 2016 when he had appeared in the court.

Sonia, Rahul, Vora (AICC treasurer), Fernandes (AICC general secretary), Dubey and Pitroda were summoned for the alleged offences of dishonest misappropriation of property, criminal breach of trust and cheating, read with criminal conspiracy of the IPC.

First Published: Aug 05, 2017 19:36 IST