National Herald case: Congress, Associated Journals submit their balance sheets in court

New Delhi: The Indian National Congress on Friday submitted its balance sheet for the year 2010-2011 in a sealed cover before a Delhi court in compliance with its order in the National Herald case in which Congress President Sonia Gandhi, her son Rahul Gandhi and five others are accused.

Besides the Congress, Associated Journals Pvt (AJL) also submitted in a sealed cover its balance sheet for the same assessment year before Metropolitan Magistrate Lovleen.

Both Congress and AJL requested the court that "the documents may not be opened or brought on record without hearing the counsel for applicant."

Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi in a file photo. PTI

Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi in a file photo. PTI

They said the summoned documents were already on court's record and "the prayer (by complainant Subramanian Swamy) for summoning the documents was made either by sheer oversight or just to publicise the issue."

"Nonetheless, the applicants (Congress and AJL) in deference to the direction of this court is producing the document in a sealed cover," they said in their separate pleas moved in the court.

The court had on 11 March summoned documents of Congress and AJL for the year 2010-2011, observing that these documents could not be referred as "personal documents" of the accused.

Swamy had accused Sonia, Rahul and others of allegedly conspiring to cheat and misappropriate funds by just paying Rs 50 lakh by which Young Indian Pvt Ltd (YI) obtained the right to recover Rs 90.25 crore which AJL owed to Congress party.

During the hearing, the counsel appearing for Congress and the AJL said the matter was already pending before the court after which the judge posted the matter for 5 May for further hearing.

"Don't treat it as a fast track case. Treat it as an ordinary case," the counsel appearing for AJL said while seeking adjournment in the matter.

In his plea, Swamy had sought summoning of balance sheet, receipts and payments accounts, income and expenditure statements for the years 2010-2011, 2011-2012 and 2012-2013 of INC and AJL.

Swamy had told the court that these records were necessary to establish the method adopted by the accused for the purpose of extending loans to acquire AJL, through YI.

He had initially sought summoning of documents of YI also, but did not press for it during the arguments later.

The court had on 26 June, 2014, summoned Sonia, Rahul, Motilal Vora, Oscar Fernandes, Suman Dubey and Sam Pitroda as accused in the case besides YI.

It had on 19 December, 2015, granted bail to Sonia, Rahul, Vora, Fernandes and Dubey, who had appeared before it pursuant to the summons issued earlier. Pitroda was granted bail on 20 February when he had appeared in the court.

Sonia, Rahul, Vora (AICC Treasurer), Fernandes (AICC General Secretary), Dubey and Pitroda were summoned for alleged offences under section 403 (dishonest misappropriation of property), 406 (criminal breach of trust) and 420 (cheating) read with section 120B (criminal conspiracy) of the IPC.

Updated Date: Apr 08, 2016 19:17 PM

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