NEW DELHI: The Congress on Wednesday moved the Delhi High Court in the National Herald land grab case against the summons issued by a local court for appearance on August 7.
The court had issued summons after it received a private criminal complaint filed by BJP leader Subramanian Swamy against Congress president Sonia Gandhi, Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi and others for acquiring the assets of a company that ran the now-defunct National Herald newspaper.
Swamy alleged various criminal offences in acquiring the assets of Associated Journals Limited by Young Indian, a newly floated company, and sought a probe in this regard.
In their petition, the Gandhis said Swamy’s complaint intended to take revenge on them with narrow political objectives. “The magistrate lacks the jurisdiction to summon them as accused and the case must be quashed as no element of fraud exists. Swamy’s complaint aims to settle personal and private grudges particularly against them,” the petition states.
In their petition, the Gandhis also claim that they never held the controversial company and that the magistrate mistook the allotment of shares as transfer. The party seeks to quash the plea against Congress president Sonia Gandhi as well as vice-president Rahul Gandhi.
The case is likely to be heard on August 1.
The Income tax department had also issued notices to the Congress. The complaint alleged that the Gandhis formed a company, Young India, in 2010 with 38 percent share each to take control of `2,000 crore worth of assets of Associated Journals Ltd (AJL), which published the National Herald. The National Herald was started in 1938 by Jawaharlal Nehru. Over the decades, it lost circulation and ran into major financial losses, leading to its closure in 2008.