HC junks PIL for SFIO probe of National Herald case

The petitioner had sought that the SFIO after carrying out the probe should give a report to the high court.

Published: 03rd June 2016 06:53 PM  |   Last Updated: 03rd June 2016 06:53 PM   |  A+A-


NEW DELHI: Delhi High Court today refused to entertain a PIL which sought a probe by the Serious Fraud Investigation Office (SFIO) into allegations made by BJP leader Subramaniam Swamy against Congress President Sonia Gandhi, her son Rahul and others in the National Herald case.

A bench of Chief Justice G Rohini and Justice Jayant Nath said the relief sought by the petitioner amounts to staying the proceedings before the Chief Metropolitan Magistrate (CMM) which cannot be granted.

It also said there was no public interest in the matter and dismissed the plea moved by the spokesperson of Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee A Alam Pasha.

Central government standing counsel Anurag Ahluwalia opposed the maintainability of the petition saying it was "frivolous" and "politically motivated".

The petitioner had also sought that the SFIO after carrying out the probe should give a report to the high court.

He was of the view that SFIO's probe would be of "invaluable assistance" to the CMM as well.

He had also said in his plea that he had moved the petition as the state Congress committee of Karnataka "wants to know the truth about their most trusted leaders like Sonia Gandhi and others".

He has said the matter can be probed by SFIO before whom both sides can put forth their stand.

Apart from Sonia and her son Rahul party leaders Motilal Vora, Oscar Fernandes, Suman Dubey, Sam Pitroda and Young Indian Pvt Ltd (YI) are accused in the National Herald case filed by Swamy.

Swamy has accused them of allegedly conspiring to cheat and misappropriate funds by just paying Rs 50 lakh by which YI obtained the right to recover Rs 90.25 crore which Associated Journals Ltd (AJL), publisher of National Herald, owed to the Congress party.

All the accused have denied the allegations levelled against them by Swamy.

The trial court had on December 19 last year granted bail. to Sonia Gandhi, Rahul, Vora, Fernandes and Dubey, who had appeared before it in pursuance to the summons issued earlier. Pitroda, another accused, was granted bail later.

Sonia, Rahul, Vora, Fernandes (AICC General Secretary), Dubey and Pitroda were summoned for the alleged offences under sections 403 (dishonest misappropriation of property), 406 (criminal breach of trust) and 420 (cheating) read with section 120B (criminal conspiracy) of the IPC.


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