Congress President Sonia Gandhi, and Vice President Rahul Gandhi were today summoned by a local court as accused in a criminal complaint lodged by BJP leader Subramanian Swamy for alleged cheating and misappropriation of funds in acquiring ownership of now-defunct daily National Herald.
Metropolitan Magistrate Gomati Manocha issued summons to Sonia and Rahul Gandhi besides AICC Treasurer Moti Lal Vohra, General Secretary Oscar Fernandes, and Suman Dubey and Sam Pitroda, the other directors of Young Indian Ltd (YI), a company that was incorporated in 2010 and which took over the "debt" of Associated Journals Ltd (AJL), the publisher of National Herald.
Swamy had accused Sonia and Rahul Gandhi and others of 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 the AJL had owed to the Congress party.
"Complainant has established a prima facie case against the accused under section 403 (dishonest misappropriation of property, 406 (criminal breach of trust) and 420 (cheating) read with section 120B (criminal conspiracy) of IPC.
"Hence, let the accused Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi, Moti Lal Vohra, Oscar Fernandes, Suman Dubey and Sam Pitroda be summoned for August 7, 2014. Let the Young Indian be summoned through it's authorised representative for the same date," said Manocha.
Reacting to the development, Congress spokesman and a senior lawyer Abhishek Manu Singhvi said the party will respond "vigorously" to the allegations made by Swamy.