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National Herald case: Sonia, Rahul Gandhi to face income tax investigation

LiveMint logoLiveMint 12-05-2017 Priyanka Mittal

New Delhi: In a setback to Congress president Sonia Gandhi, and her son and party vice-president Rahul Gandhi, the Delhi high court on Friday rejected their challenge against an income tax investigation in the National Herald case.

The two Congress leaders along with Young India Pvt. Ltd, in which they are directors, will now face an investigation by the tax department.

The case relates to allegations of conspiracy, cheating, misappropriation of funds and criminal breach of trust by Bharatiya Janata Party leader Subramanian Swamy against Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi and other members of the party

The complaint arose due to the acquisition of Associated Journals Pvt. Ltd, publisher of the National Herald newspaper, by Young India for Rs50 lakh from the Congress. According to Swamy, this allowed Young India to recover a Rs90 crore loan from Associate Journals which was owed to the Congress.

The matter was brought before justice S. Muralidhar, who said Young India would have to face an investigation and explain the transactions. The company was asked to submit documents required for the investigation to the tax department.

The petition challenging the investigation was subsequently withdrawn by senior advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi, appearing for Young India.

The Gandhis had challenged Swamy’s allegations in the Delhi high court which, on 7 December 2015, dismissed their petition, paving the way for a trial. The order directing the trial of the Congress leaders and others over alleged misappropriation of funds was upheld by the apex court thereafter.

The trial of the Gandhis, along with Oscar Fernandes, Suman Dubey, Sam Pitroda and party treasurer Motilal Vora, is underway in the Patiala trial court in Delhi.

The National Herald, which was pulled out of circulation in 2008, was revived in November on the birth anniversary of the newspaper’s founder and India’s first prime minister, Jawaharlal Nehru.

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