National Herald case: Congress leaders accuse Swamy of defaming them
(Sourced from PTI)
Senior Congress leaders, including Motilal Vora and Oscar Fernandes, today told a Delhi court, which is hearing the National Herald case involving Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi, that the complainant Subramanian Swamy was trying to defame them and vilify their party. Suman Dubey and Sam Pitroda made their submission before Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Samar Vishal in response to an application moved by Swamy.
In an application, Swamy alleged that a Rs. 414cr fine was recently imposed on Young Indian by the Income Tax department in connection with the case. Sonia and Rahul, however, have not filed any reply to Swamy's application, which alleged that I-T Department launched a probe against the accused, also involving Young Indian (YI), after taking note of his complaint in the case.
Swamy, in a private criminal complaint, accused the Gandhis and others of conspiring to cheat and misappropriate funds by paying just Rs. 50 lakh, through which YI obtained the right to recover Rs. 90.25 crore which Associate Journals Ltd owed to the Congress.
"The application (moved by Swamy) is surrounded by malafide as the same has been filed for the purpose of causing defamation of the accused-respondents and vilification of the Congress party," the accused persons said in their replies. They also accused the BJP leader, Swamy, of "indulging in loud and persistent publicity amounting to an interference with the administration of justice."
"Before and after every date of hearing, he (Swamy) unleashes hostile publicity through tweets and/or statements to the media. This conduct on the part of the complainant is clearly impelled by an intention to influence the outcome of the present proceedings through media intervention," the accused persons said. They said the present application was not maintainable and termed it "a gimmick".
Moving the application on January 20, BJP's Swamy said: "The I-T department took notice of the facts in my complaint and launched an investigation against the seven accused. A Rs. 414 crore fine was imposed on YI for withholding information." He said he found the documents related to the Income Tax Department's 27 December 2017 order lying along with newspapers at his doorstep.
The Delhi court, however, had directed that the I-T department documents submitted by Swamy be kept in a sealed cover till further orders. All the seven accused - the Gandhis, Vora, Fernandes, Dubey, Pitroda, and Young Indian - have denied the allegations leveled against them in the case. The court had summoned the accused persons, besides YI, on 26 June 2014.
On 19 Dec'15, the court granted bail to Sonia Gandhi, Rahul, Vora, Fernandes, and Dubey, who appeared before it pursuant to the summonses. Pitroda was granted bail on 20 Feb'16 when he appeared in the court. The six accused persons were summoned for alleged offenses of misappropriation of property, criminal breach of trust, and cheating, read with criminal conspiracy of the Indian Penal Code.