Setback for Rahul and Sonia as HC Allows I-T Probe Into Young Indian
In a setback for Sonia Gandhi and her son Rahul, the Delhi High Court has cleared the way for an Income Tax investigation into Young Indian Private Limited in which the two Congress leaders are directors.
A bench of Justices S Muralidhar and Chander Shekhar asked the company to approach the Income Tax assessing officer, after which the firm withdrew its petition to stay the I-T proceedings. It is now likely to approach the Supreme Court.
Young Indian had approached the high court seeking a direction to stay the IT proceedings and quashing of notices against it with regard to the National Herald misappropriation of assets case.
The company was issued notices regarding the assessment year 2011-12.
The Gandhis have been accused of conspiring to “cheat and misappropriate funds” by paying just Rs 50 lakh through which Young Indian Pvt. Ltd obtained the right to recover Rs 90.25 crore which Associate Journals Ltd (AJL) owed to the Congress.
“I am very happy. I am arguing that fraud has taken place. These cases will see the light of day.... If the PM doesn’t do anything, people will say that he only gives speeches,” Swamy told CNN-News18 after the HC ruling.
“It is a blow to the Gandhis. They may approach the Supreme Court, but they still need to answer questions,” BJP leader Nalin Kohli told CNN-News18.
In the first official reaction from the Congress, party leader Randeep Singh Surjewala told CNN-News18, “The Gandhi have the option of approaching the Supreme Court. The I-T (department) cannot open a one-sided investigation. Subramanian Swamy is not inchare of I-T.”
“Young Indian is a trust which manages National Herald. No one can profit from it. Neither Sonia nor Rahul withdrew any money from it,” Surjewala said.
The party also refuted the charges in a series if tweets.
'Young Indian' had raised certain fundamental jurisdictional issues challenging authority of IT dept. #NationalHerald— INC India (@INCIndia) May 12, 2017
And the fact is no one can withdraw salary, dividend or benefit from it in any manner, as per Companies Act. #NationalHerald— INC India (@INCIndia) May 12, 2017
We're proud to protect this imp symbol of freedom struggle. The witch hunt of the BJP will not deter us from our fight for Truth & Integrity— INC India (@INCIndia) May 12, 2017
Others accused in the case filed by BJP MP Subramanian Swamy include Motilal Vora, Oscar Fernandes, Suman Dubey and Sam Pitroda. The court had summoned the accused persons, besides Young Indian on 26 June, 2014. On 19 December, 2015, it had granted bail to Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi, Vora, Fernandes and Dubey, who had appeared before it pursuant to summons. Pitroda was granted bail on 20 February, 2016 when he had appeared in the court.
Earlier, BJP leader Subramanian Swamy's counsel had submitted a list of witnesses and other evidences against the accused.
The court had dismissed Swamy's plea, seeking documents related to the National Herald case against Sonia and Rahul along with other accused.
Swamy had earlier sought documents and ledger books maintained by the Congress Party and Associated Journals Limited (AJL).
Swamy had filed an application in 2012, accusing Sonia, Rahul and others associated with Congress of conspiring to cheat in a land deal.
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