NEW DELHI: The New Delhi Metropolitan Magistrate Court on Monday issued summons to Congress chief Sonia Gandhi and her son and party Vice President Rahul Gandhi in connection with the National Herald case filed by BJP leader Subramanian Swamy. Apart from the Gandhis, the court also summoned Congress leaders Motilal Vora and Oscar Fernandes, and trusted aides of the family, Suman Dubey and Sam Pitroda for allegedly “grabbing `2,000 crore worth properties of the now defunct National Herald newspaper by dubiously floating” a private limited company called Young Indian. The accused have to appear before the Magistrate Court on August 7.
Sonia, Rahul and others were charged of criminal conspiracy, fraud and breach of public trust. The Associated Journal, the publishing company of National Herald newspaper, was established by Jawaharlal Nehru in 1938. In 2008, the newspaper was closed down.
In late 2010, Sonia and Rahul floated a private limited company called Young Indian and acquired The Associated Journals Ltd (AJL).
The Congress gave `90 crore to AJL to settle its dues. Controversy arose when the Young Indian decided to owe AJL’s liability to Congress, leading Swamy to accuse Sonia and Rahul of grabbing assets of a public firm by floating a private company and using party funds. As per IT Act, political parties are barred from funding business operations.