Has the National Herald Case spelled doom for the Gandhi family?
There seems to be no end to Congress’s woes. In a big blow to the party leadership, the Delhi High Court on Monday turned down the plea to quash summons against Sonia and Rahul Gandhi in the National Herald case.
The court made a critical observation on the ‘questionable conduct’ on how the duo managed the control of the publication. Justice Sunil Gaur also turned down the plea of five others for exemption from personal appearance in the case in the trial court.
Along with the Gandhis, the five others accused are – Suman Dubey, Moti Lal Vohra, Oscar Fernandez, Sam Pitroda and Young India Ltd. They had challenged the summons issued by the trial court on a complaint by BJP leader Subramanian Swamy for alleged cheating and misappropriation of funds in taking control of the now-defunct daily National Herald.
The judge is also of the view that the “Gravity of the allegations leveled against petitioners (Sonia, Rahul and the other five) has a fraudulent flavour involving a national political party and so, serious imputations smacking of criminality leveled against petitioners need to be properly looked into”.
What the case is all about?
The Congress leaders were summoned in the case in June 2014 when Swamy had filed a complaint accusing them of cheating and misappropriation of funds in acquiring the ownership of the now-defunct English daily National Herald. The paper was set up by Jawahar Lal Nehru in 1938. It was briefly shut down in the 1940s and 1970s and ceased its operations in 2008. Swamy said that the Congress funds were used to buy Associated Journals Limited and that the mother-son duo aimed to grab property worth Rs2000 crore. The Gandhis are the directors of Young Indian and own 76% shares. The remaining shares are owned by Motilal Vohra, Oscar Fernandez, Suman Dubey and Sam Pitroda.