National Herald Case : Swamy allowed to summon papers, case to be decided within one year

Subramanian Swamy has been fighting to get the now-out-on-bail Gandhis behind bars in the National Herald case. He had recently declared that he had received some explosive Income Tax documents by an anonymous person on his doorstep.  The 105-page order dated 27th December says Congress claim of Rs. 90 Crore loan to AJL was “bogus”. It orders Young Indian to pay tax for concealed income of Rs. 414 crore. The order termed the deal as fraudulent. It was also claimed that Income Tax Department gave 44 opportunities to Congress over a period of 890 days. We had earlier covered how those documents implicated the Gandhis. 

BJP MP Subramaniam Swamy had moved a private criminal complaint. In the first application, the BJP MP has sought certain documents from the Congress, while in his second plea, Swamy has sought a direction to the Gandhis to either admit or deny certain documents filed by him on whether they are originals.

In the third application, Subramanian Swamy has requested the court to take on record the documents that he had found on his doorstep. While Swamy said there was enough material before the court to allow his applications, the accused had urged the court to dismiss them.

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The court had reserved its order for the 26th May 2018. Today, Subramanian Swamy and his associate, Ishkaran Bhandari took to Twitter to inform people that though the court had disallowed the application by which the accused had to admit or deny the documents produced, the court has allowed Subramanian Swamy to summon those documents. Ishkaran asserted that the purpose had been served.

Section 294 of Criminal Procedure Code of India relates to cases where there is no formal proof of certain documents. It indicates that after such documents are introduced, the other party will be called upon to authenticate whether those documents are fake or authentic. In this case, it would be the IT documents introduced by Swamy.

Subramanian Swamy also asserted that the court has allowed him to summon the papers and introduce it as evidence.

He said that now the case has to be decided within one year as per the Judge’s orders.

Subramanian Swamy said that the Congress itself had walked into a trap by resisting Section 294. They had opened the roads for faster disposal of the case and the documents he wanted can be summoned anyway.

The accused in the National Herald case are the Gandhis, Motilal Vora (AICC treasurer), Oscar Fernandes (AICC general secretary), Suman Dubey, Sam Pitroda and Young Indian.

The crux of the case lies in the fact that the Indian National Congress/All India Congress Committee (AICC) had over the years advanced a loan of 90 crore rupees to Associated Journals Limited (AJL), which published its mouthpiece, the National Herald. These loans were later sold cheap for just 50 lakhs rupees and were used to give a 99% stake in AJL to the Gandhis, via the company Young Indian (YI), thus transferring the ownership of valuable assets owned by AJL to YI.

We had earlier covered how the Gandhis had tried to thwart the Income Tax’ investigation into the National Herald case. Congress had also earlier reportedly threatened tax officials with legal consequences for asking “irrelevant questions” during their investigations.

Swamy had earlier said that perhaps Congress is not addressing the media on National Herald because if they do, they will have to confirm whether those papers presented by Swamy are authentic or not and whether they were served with these documents by the IT authorities.

With the recent court order that allows Swamy to summon papers and present them as evidence, we are sure to see an explosive one year ahead.


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