NEW DELHI: In a major relief to Congress leaders, Sonia and Rahul Gandhi, a Delhi court on Monday dismissed BJP leader Subramaniam Swamy’s plea seeking certain documents from the Congress Party and Associated Journals Ltd (AJL) in the National Herald case.
Metropolitan Magistrate Lovleen rejected Swamy’s application while giving him the last opportunity to submit the list of complainant witnesses in the case in which he has accused the Gandhis and others of conspiring to cheat and misappropriate funds by paying just Rs 50 lakh through which Young Indian Pvt Ltd obtained the right to recover Rs 90.25 crores which AJL owed to the Congress.
Court in its order observed, “At the very outset, this court must observe that by using the terms ‘verify’/‘see’/investigate’, the complainant admits that he himself is not aware of the contents of the said documents. In these circumstances, the prayer of the complainant is nothing but a fishing enquiry which is not permitted under the law... This court feels that by seeking the documents, the complainant seems to enlarging the scope of present proceedings.”
Meanwhile, Swamy is gearing up to move the Supreme Court challenging the order. He tweeted, “It’s a perverse order and I shall appeal.” The court has slated the next hearing for Feb 10. On Swamy’s plea, the trial court had sought documents from Ministries of Finance and Urban Development, Department of Corporate Affairs and Income Tax Department and 2010-11 balance sheet of the Congress party in the case, which were submitted by the INC and AJL on April 8. But the order was stayed by the Delhi High Court.
Swamy then filed a fresh application before the trial court seeking to summon of certain documents while the Congress leaders and AJL sought the return of documents including its balance sheet, which had been submitted to the court.
The court had in 2014 summoned Sonia, Rahul, Motilal Vora, Oscar Fernandes, Suman Dubey and Sam Pitroda as accused in the case besides YI and granted them bail in December 2015. They were summoned for alleged offences under section 403 (dishonest misappropriation of property), 406 (criminal breach of trust) and 420 (cheating) (criminal conspiracy) of the IPC. Gandhis and other accused have denied the allegations levelled against them.