New Delhi: Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Subramanian Swamy on Saturday told a Delhi court that a Rs414 crore fine was recently imposed on Young Indian Pvt. Ltd by the Income Tax department in connection with the National Herald case filed by him against Congress leaders Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi and others.
Swamy submitted before metropolitan magistrate Ambika Singh that the I-T department had launched a probe against Gandhis, YI, and four other accused after taking note of his complaint in the case. The court directed that the I-T department documents submitted by Swamy be kept in a sealed cover till further orders. Swamy, in a private criminal complaint, has accused the Gandhis and others of conspiring to cheat and misappropriate funds by paying just Rs50 lakh, through which YI obtained the right to recover Rs90.25 crore which Associate Journals Ltd owed to the Congress.
“The I-T department took notice of the facts in my complaint and launched an investigation against the seven accused. A ₹ 414 crore fine was imposed on YI for withholding information," Swamy said in the court. He said that he found the documents related to the I-T department’s 27 December 2017 order lying along with newspapers at his doorstep recently.
The counsel for the accused persons opposed the BJP leader’s submission alleging that the I-T documents were in “unauthorised and unlawful possession of Swamy" and they should not be taken on record. “He (Swamy) can’t be in possession of such documents. Let him file an affidavit about how he got these documents. This can’t be taken on record," the counsel, appearing for the Gandhis, said. The counsel said that an application will be filed in the court by the accused in this regard. The magistrate then gave the direction for keeping the documents in a sealed cover.
During the proceedings, Swamy also told the court that certain documents filed by him, whose authenticity was challenged by the accused, were filed before the Supreme Court by Sonia Gandhi herself. “In the petition challenging the Delhi High Court decision by which an appeal against the trial court order summoning the accused was dismissed, she (Sonia Gandhi) herself had filed these documents. Now they cannot say they will not admit or deny these papers," Swamy contended.
The court posted the matter for further hearing on 27 March. The Gandhis and the other accused—senior party leaders Motilal Vora, Oscar Fernandes, Suman Dubey and Sam Pitroda—have denied the allegations levelled against them in the case. The court had summoned the accused persons, besides YI, on 26 June 2014.
On 19 December 2015, it had granted bail to Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi, Vora, Fernandes and Dubey, who had appeared before it pursuant to the summonses. Pitroda was granted bail on 20 February 2016 when he had appeared in the court.
Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi, Vora (AICC treasurer), Fernandes (AICC general secretary), Dubey and Pitroda were summoned for the alleged offences of misappropriation of property, criminal breach of trust and cheating, read with criminal conspiracy of the Indian Penal Code.