Now it is certain that Congress president Sonia Gandhi and her son Rahul will have to appear in person before the Patiala House Court, Delhi on December 19 in National Herald case. The way Court has made stern comments on the matters related to Sonia and Rahul and their company ‘Young Indian’ made the things difficult for them. This company has been accused of amassing Rs 5,000 crore worth property of Associate Journals, which ran the National Herald newspaper. Former Union Minister Dr Subramanian Swamy took the matter to the Patiala House Court, which on June 26, 2014 issued summons to Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi and other accused in the case. Against it, Sonia and Rahul moved to the Delhi High Court, which on December 7 rejected their plea and asked all the accused to be present at the trial court on December 19. Looking at the mood of the Court it seems it can be a problem for Sonia family. Arun Kumar Singh, Sr. Correspondent, Panchjanya talked to Dr Swamy regarding the case in detail. Excerpts:
- Sonia and Rahul Gandhi saw political vendetta in this case. What is your opinion?
Court verdict is based on facts. There is no political vendetta. By saying this they are insulting the Court. However, this is not a new thing for this family. Earlier too, it indulged in insulting the judiciary on a number of occasions. When the Allahabad High Court had set aside the election, Smt Indira Gandhi imposed Emergency on the country instead of honouring the Court verdict.
- The Congress MPs stalled the proceedings of the Parliament for many days on this issue. Don’t they have faith in the Court?
It seems so from their approach, they don’t have faith in the Judiciary. They want to give a political colour to this case. However, they may try their level best; this case is going to prove very costly to them. They must know that their misdeeds will get exposed one day.
- Can you explain the background of the entire case?
When I came to know of this fraud, I approached the Patiala House Court. The Magistrate Gomati Manocha said on the basis of the documents I presented that as long as the accused don’t contest the allegations it can be assumed that there is some problem. On this basis, she issued summons to Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi, Oscar Fernandes, Motilal Vora, Sam Pitroda and Suman Dubey on June 26, 2014 and sought their response to it. They approached Delhi High Court to get the summons cancelled. Expert and experienced advocates represented them and argued on their behalf. Thus the case lingered on. In the meantime, the Chief Justice transferred Justice Sanjeev Gaur who was dealing with the case and handed over the matter to Justice PS Teji. Judge Shri Teji said he wanted to wind up the case at the earliest as many arguments had already been conducted. The defenders in panic submitted to the Court that this case be handed over to the earlier Judge. The case was again handed over to Justice Sanjeev Gaur. After the arguments were over, I placed my records on October 19 before the Court. I only maintained that the trial Court had acted as per the rules, which were correct. The accused should present themselves before the Patiala House Court and face the matter. I am happy that the Court had taken my submissions seriously and the results are before us.
- The defence lawyers argue that this is an internal matter of Congress Party. What is your take on this?
See. The political parties don’t have to pay any tax to the government on the funds they receive. Congress too is beneficiary of this provision. No party is allowed to spend from its funds for the benefit of an individual. Besides, the government allots them land for office, bungalows, etc. They are given free time for propaganda on Doordarshan and AIR during the election time. That is to say these parties are given number of benefits from the public exchequer. That empowers me as a taxpayer to complain against any irregularities in the Congress Party to the Police or Court. The law also permits every citizen to lodge a complaint regarding any crime or misappropriation. Say, for example, you are going somewhere and come across an accident on way. If you are a law-abiding citizen you would immediately inform the Police about the same irrespective of the victim’s relation to you. I am doing the same thing here. Congress is not a private limited party. I may not be a member of that party but I would certainly not allow mishandling of Congress party funds.
- Some people accuse you of enmity with Sonia Gandhi family, and therefore you keep on heaping allegations on them?
This is useless talk. The court gives verdict not on personal vendetta but on the basis of documents and evidences. The Supreme Court has said this time and again. I have all the documentary evidence for the allegations. This family conspired to acquire Rs 5,000 crore worth property of National Herald. Under this conspiracy Sonia and Rahul’s company ‘Young Indian’ is given the ownership rights of the entire property of National Herald.
‘Young Indian’ is a cultural organisation, while Associated Journals Limited was a profit making company. Then on what basis the property of that company was given to Young Indian? If a political party collects funds from the society and then deposits it as ‘black money’ in a foreign country or utilise it in some illegal activity, it is bound to invite opposition. The people associated with Young Indian hatched a criminal conspiracy to devour the property of National Herald. Under this conspiracy, the Congress Party extended interest free loan of Rs 90 crore to Associated Journals. It was said that this loan would be used to clear the salary of the employees and thus save them from becoming unemployed. National Herald was closed in 2008. Should not Sonia family explain why the newspaper was not published in spite of the loan given to it for the same purpose? Young India pocketed the Rs 5,000 crore property of Associate Journal by paying a meager sum of Rs 50 lakh only. This is a no less than a clear fraud. Question was also raised that how the Young Indian whose seed capital was only Rs 5 lakh can pay Rs 50 lakh to other company? This means that it has black money. Now the National Herald buildings are given on rent by Young Indian and this fetches Rs 1 crore per month earning to the company. Between 1947 to 2008 the Associated Journals received Rs 300 crore loan from the Punjab National Bank and other banks. What has happened to that money?
- What are the other allegations against Young Indian?
The first case is of conspiracy, then breach of trust, deceit and amassing wealth and property. You will be surprised to know that Young Indian directors include Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi, Motilal Vora, and Oscar Fernandes. Sonia Gandhi is president of Congress Party, Rahul Gandhi is vice-president, Motilal Vora is treasurer and Oscar Fernandes is general secretary. The same people are in Associated Journals body—Motilal Vora is chairman, and Oscar Fernandes, Sam Pitroda, Suman Dubey are directors. That is to say that the same people are running three organisations.
This is no less than a conspiracy. Under the same conspiracy these people have occupied the entire property of Associated Journals. Then they did fraud with 761 shareholders of Associated Journals. They told them that the ownership of Associated Journals was given to Young Indian owned by Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi, but there would be no effect on ownership. But that did not happen.
Associated Journals was liquidated and its proceeds were transferred to Young Indian. You can describe it as an act of amassing. Sonia and Rahul own 76 per cent shares of Young Indian making them legal owners of the company.