A Delhi court on Friday summoned the balance sheets of the Congress party and Associated Journals Pvt Ltd in connection with the National Herald scam, PTI reported. Congress leaders Sonia and Rahul Gandhi, along with four others, are accused in the case. This is likely the first time a court has asked for the party's financial documents in a criminal case, Hindustan Times reported. The order came after Bharatiya Janata Party leader Dr Subramanian Swamy filed a petition asking for Congress and Associated Journals balance sheets between 2010 to 2013. The court only asked for balance sheets from 2010-2011. It will hear the case next on March 21.
The Metropolitan Magistrate added that by no means was the court asking for “personal documents” of the accused persons, and that the documents referred to belonged to two separate entities. It did not ask for documents pertaining to Young India Limited either, which had acquired Associated Journals.
Swamy's complaint suggested that the Gandhis provided an interest-free loan of of Rs 90.25 crore to Associated Journals and transferred the debt to a company called Young India Limited for Rs 50 lakh. Sonia and Rahul Gandhi hold more than three-fourths equity in Young India. Last year, the Delhi High Court had criticised the the Congress leaders, saying they had cheated lakhs of people who had donated money to the party.
The other Congress leaders accused in the case are Motilal Vora, Oscar Fernandes, Suman Dubey and Sam Pitroda. The court had granted the Gandhis, Vora, Fernandes and Dubey bail in December last year, while Pitroda was given bail last month.