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Court allows Swamy's plea to summon documents in National Herald case

Court allows Swamy's plea to summon documents in National Herald case

Delhi court allows the plea of BJP leader Subramanian Swamy seeking summoning of documents in the National Herald case against Sonia , Rahul and five others.

New Delhi: A Delhi court on Monday heard the National Herald case involving Congress president Sonia Gandhi, vice president Rahul Gandhi and four other party leaders.

While the defence sought more documents from the Centre, the prosecution hit back, saying it has given all documents as per court orders.

The petitioner in the case, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Subramanian Swamy has accused the Congress leaders of cheating, conspiracy and criminal breach of trust.

Swamy has claimed that the Gandhis tried to grab property worth crores belonging to Associated Journals, the publisher of National Herald. A company floated by the Gandhis had bought Associated Journals.

Swamy said, "We have given all documents. Congress leaders said documents are incomplete. it's a delaying tactic. I have asked for documents related to National Herald with different central agencies like DDA, Corporate Affairs Ministry, Income Tax, Enforcement Directorate, registrar of companies, Finance Ministry.

He added, "I wanted summons to be issued. Court has accepted my application to issue summons to these agencies. Court will issue summons to central agencies once we pay process fee and complete the process which will be done in a day or two."

The Delhi court allowed the plea of Swamy seeking summoning of documents from the Ministries of Finance, Urban Development and Corporate Affairs, Income Tax Department and other agencies in the National Herald case.

Metropolitan Magistrate Lovleen asked Swamy to file the process fee for sending summons to these departments, including Delhi Development Authority and the Registrar of Companies.

During the brief hearing, Swamy told the court he needed the documents, which are in the custody of these ministries, for advancing arguments in the case.

"They (these ministries and agencies) have the documents. I do not know what all documents they have. These documents can be summoned," Swamy told the court.

"You file the PF (process fee). Your application is allowed," the judge said.

The court had on December 19, 2015, granted bail to Congress President Sonia Gandhi and her son Rahul Gandhi and three others-- Motilal Vora, Oscar Fernandes and Suman Dubey-- who had appeared before in pursuance to the summons issued earlier.

Sam Pitroda, another accused, was granted exemption from personal appearance for that day on medical grounds.

The case is based on a private criminal complaint lodged by Swamy against them of cheating, conspiracy and criminal breach of trust.

During the hearing, Swamy told the court that as per the court's order, he has supplied the copies of the complaint and the annexures attached to it to the accused, who are refusing to accept it.

"They refused to accept it and are giving a blank statement that it was incomplete. I do not know what is incomplete. We have complied with the court's order and we are ready to give the documents to them if they will tell me what is incomplete," Swamy said.

To this, the court said, "You send it to their offices through post."

In his plea seeking summoning of documents, Swamy has said that they were required for the case.

The documents which he has sought pertains to Associated Journal Ltd (AJL).

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

The trial court had on June 26, 2014 asked them to appear before it on August 7, 2014 but the order was stayed on August 6, 2014 by the Delhi High Court which on December 7, last year vacated the stay by rejecting the plea to quash the complaint and the summons.

On December 15, 2014, the high court had further stayed the summons till final disposal of the petitions.

Along with the Gandhi's, five others accused – Suman Dubey, Moti Lal Vora, Oscar Fernandez, Sam Pitroda and Young India Ltd -- had challenged the summons issued to them by trial court on Swamy's complaint.

(With PTI Inputs)