The Delhi High Court today declined to stay the income tax proceedings against Young Indian Pvt Ltd in the National Herald case involving Congress leaders Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi and asked them to approach tax authorities. The two Congress leaders are directors in Young Indian Private Limited.
Congress spokesman Abhishek "Manu" Singhvi, who is also the senior advocate appearing for the Gandhis in the Delhi high court, accused the BJP and the government of spreading disinformation about the Delhi high court proceedings.
Subramanian Swamy had filed an application in 2012, accusing Congress chief Sonia Gandhi and her son Rahul and others of conspiring to cheat in the transfer of property belonging to the erstwhile National Herald, a newspaper founded by late Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru and owned by Allied Journals Pvt Ltd (AJL).
Besides Gandhis, other accused - Motilal Vora, Oscar Fernandes, Suman Dubey and Sam Pitroda - had denied the allegations leveled against them. "It is better you withdraw and approach the income tax assessing officer", the court observed while refusing relief.
The Gandhis had approached the Delhi High Court to obtain a stay on the Income Tax probe against them.
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Court summons Gandhis and others as accused in the criminal complaint.
The Young Indian (YI) was incorporated in 2010 with a capital of Rs 50 lakh and it acquired nearly all the shareholding of AJL and all its properties (alleged to be worth Rs 5,000 crore). The company was issued notices regarding the assessment year 2011-12. YI is a non-profit company: Congress In its response, the Congress said that YI had raised some jurisdictional issues concerning the I-T department in the Delhi High Court, but withdrew its petition after being "satisfied" with the court direction.
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". A trial court had summoned them as accused persons, besides YI, on June 26, 2014.
As per documents, Sonia and Rahul have individual shareholdings of 38 percent each in the company while Vora and Fernandes hold the remaining 24 percent in equal parts.
The entire National Herald case is based on the complaint filed by Swamy. Reacting to the news, BJP leader Sambit Patra said this is a major setback for Congress party and both Sonia and Rahul Gandhi should come forward'.