Hearing on Cong funding to National Herald today
MONDAY, 18 FEBRUARY 2013 17:37 PIONEER NEWS SERVICE | NEW DELHI
Janata Party president Subramanian Swamy has dragged Congress president Sonia Gandhi and party vice-president Rahul Gandhi into court over the Congress funding of the National Herald newspaper and acquiring of the newspaper assets by a newly-floated private company.
On Monday the Metropolitan Magistrate of Patiala Court will hear Swamy’s arguments to summon Sonia and Rahul in the issue which rocked political slugfest three months ago.
In his private complaint Swamy has made Sonia and Rahul as the main accused. The other directors Motilal Vora, Oscar Fernandez, Suman Dubey and Sam Pitroda of the newly formed private company, Young Indian, are also in the accused list in the petition filed in the court.
In his petition, Swamy alleged that the accused have floated a closely held private company to “grab more than `5000 worth properties” of the public limited company Associated Journals Limited(AJL), the publisher of ‘National Herald’ using the Rs.90 crore fund of All India Congress Committee.
“Sonia Gandhi as President of the Congress Party, along with other party office bearers Rahul Gandhi, Motilal Vora and Oscar Fernadez and who together owned 100% of the equity of the Young India, wrote off the loan of Rs.90 crore obtained from the party as irrecoverable.
“Thus, by a mere payment of Rs. 50 lakhs by Young Indian, the company acquired the complete ownership of AJL From the Balance Sheet it can be seen that contrary to the claim of the AJL Board, the AJL had real estate assets of at least Rs. 2000 crores, including a multi-story building in prime area of New Delhi on Bahadur Shah Zafar Marg.
AJL has real estate in Lucknow, Bhopal, Indore, Mumbai, Panchkula, Patna and other yet identified places. A conservative estimate of real estate worth is placed at Rs 5000 crores, all provided originally by various central and state governments after 1947 for facilitating newspaper printing, and publishing,” said Swamy in his petition.