Congress president Sonia Gandhi and her son vice-president Rahul Gandhi suffered a setback after the Delhi High Court declined to stay I-T proceedings against Young India Ltd in the National Herald allowing income tax probe to go ahead. The two Congress leaders are directors in Young Indian Private Limited.
The company withdrew the plea after a division bench of Justice S. Muralidhar and Justice Chander Shekhar asked it to approach the Income Tax assessing officer concerned.
During the hearing on Friday, the court said that the company has not moved the assessing officer raising its grievances, so it should first approach the IT department and submit its documents.
There are accusations against the Gandhis for conspiring to "cheat and misappropriate funds" by paying a meagre sum of Rs 50 lakh for Income Tax through which Young Indian Pvt.
Dr. Swamy had alleged that they had fraudulently acquired Associated Journal Ltd. (AJL), that used to publish the now defunct National Herald newspaper and transferred its assets worth crores of rupees to Young Indian. Other accused include names like Motilal Vora, Oscar Fernandes, Suman Dubey and Sam Pitroda.
The Congress reacted by saying that the "Court observed that all points raised in the writ can be raised before the I.T. Dept, because of which the petition was withdrawn".
However, the high court today cleared way for the Income Tax Department to investigate the mother-son duo in connection with the alleged misappropriation of funds in the National Herald case. Senior BJP leader Subramanian Swamy who was leading the fight while speaking to Republic TV said Sonia and Rahul Gandhi were involved in political irregularities and fraud.
In 2012, Swamy had filed the plea, accusing Sonia, Rahul and others affiliated with Congress of conspiring to cheat in a land deal.
Swamy had on 10 February filed the list of witnesses before the court which had on 26 December a year ago given him the last opportunity to submit the list.
At one point, when Congress lawyers insisted that the judges send a notice to the I-T Department, the Bench observed, "Don't be so arrogant".
Young Indian (YI) had approached the high court seeking a direction to stay the IT proceedings and quashing of re- assessment notices issued against it with regard to the National Herald misappropriation of assets case.
On December 19, 2015, Sonia and Rahul Gandhi had appeared before it pursuant to the summons.
The court had summoned the accused persons, besides YI on June 26, 2014. The media is misrepresenting facts, ' Congress leader Abhishek Singhvi said while addressing a press conference.