Herald case: Court asks Sonia, Rahul to reply on Swamy’s plea

A Delhi court today granted three weeks’ time to Congress president Sonia Gandhi, its vice president Rahul Gandhi and four others to respond on a plea of BJP leader Subramanian Swamy seeking certain documents from the party in the National Herald case.

Metropolitan Magistrate Lovleen gave time till July 22 to them after their counsel submitted that they have not received a copy of the application of Swamy, who has filed a private criminal complaint.

The court considered the plea of the Congress leaders and directed Swamy to hand them over a copy of the application.

Swamy, in his complaint, has accused the Gandhis and others of conspiring to cheat and misappropriate funds by paying just Rs 50 lakh through which the Young Indian Pvt Ltd (YI) obtained the right to recover Rs 90.25 crore that the Associate Journals Limited (AJL) owed to the Congress.

The Gandhis and the other accused — AICC members Motilal Vora and Oscar Fernandes and Suman Dubey and Sam Pitroda — have denied the allegations levelled against them.

Swamy has sought documents from the AJL including a copy of the bank statement filed with the registrar of companies (ROC), the minutes of the meeting in which decision to convert the loan into share capital was taken, the balance sheet, the profit and loss account with the auditor’s report in the year in which the loan was granted.

The documents sought from the Congress party include the minutes of the meeting of the Congress Working Committee authorising the loan waiver from the AJL to the YI and a copy of the loan agreement between the Congress and the AJL.

The court had summoned the accused persons, besides the YI on June 26, 2014.

On December 19, 2015, it had granted bail to Sonia, Rahul, Vora, Fernandes and Dubey, who had appeared before it pursuant to summonses. Pitroda was granted bail on February 20, 2016 when he had appeared in the court.

Sonia, Rahul, Vora (AICC treasurer), Fernandes (AICC general secretary), Dubey and Pitroda were summoned for the alleged offences of dishonest misappropriation of property, criminal breach of trust and cheating, read with criminal conspiracy of the IPC.

National Herald case: Sonia, Rahul move high court

National Herald case: Sonia, Rahul move high court
National Herald case: Sonia, Rahul move high court

Congress President Sonia Gandhi and her son Rahul Gandhi have moved the Delhi High Court objecting to a “different treatment” being accorded to a challenge filed by them in the national herald case.

In an application filed in the High Court, the Gandhis have said that their petition challenging a trial court order in the case had been part heard by Justice S Gaur and has now been placed before another judge Justice P S Teji in violation of the procedures and practise being followed by the court. The application filed before the bench headed by the Chief Justice said that their challenge petition ought to have been listed before the bench of Justice Gaur before whom the matter was pending for over eight months and was heard by him at length on several occasions.

“Even as per the established procedures and practise of this honourable court, the registry ought to have placed this matter before the very same judge where the matter was part heard especially when the same has been clarified and appended to the roaster modification notice itself,” the application contended.

The application further said in the light of the above facts and circumstances the court may look into the matter and pass orders for listing of the matter before an appropriate bench in accordance with the established practise and procedures of the court. “It is however clarified that the petitioner has no difficulty whatsoever in the matter being placed before any appropriate bench in accordance with law,” the application said.
The matter will come up for hearing on October 15.

 

( Source – PTI )

Complaint filed against Choubey

Complaint filed against Choubey
Complaint filed against Choubey

A complaint was today filed against BJP MP Ashwini Choubey in a Darbhanga court for his controversial remarks against Congress president Sonia Gandhi and vice president Rahul Gandhi even as angry Congress workers staged a dharna outside the MP’s hotel in his Buxar constituency seeking a written apology.

Darbhanga district Congress leader Ramnarain Jha filed a complaint against Choubey in the court of Chief Judicial Magistrate G K Shrivastava for “filthy” comments against the AICC president and vice president.

Addressing a BJP workers’ meeting at Rajauli in Nawada district on Thursday night, Choubey had described Sonia as the demonic mythical character ‘Putana’ and referred to Rahul as a parrot.

Jha said he was hurt after seeing insulting comments on Sonia and Rahul in the print media and TV channels.

His lawyer Pawan Chaudhary said they have urged the court to direct registration of case against Choubey under IPC sections 153-B (imputations, assertions prejudicial to national integration), 500 (punishment for defamation) and 504 (intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of peace).

He said the CJM has admitted the complaint and transferred the matter to First Class Judicial Magistrate court which will hear it on June 30.

A large number of Youth Congress workers held a dharna outside a hotel in Buxar where Choubey is staying.

Led by Buxar Youth Congress president Satyendra Ojha protesters have been sitting on dharna outside the hotel and raising slogans against Choubey and BJP since morning, a Buxar report said.

Buxar Sub Divisional Officer (SDO) Gautam Kumar and Sub Divisional Police Officer (SDPO) Sunil Kumar are on the spot and are trying to convince the protesters to end the stir.

State Youth Congress president Kumar Ashish told PTI in Patna that agitation would continue till the MP tenders a written apology for “demeaning” remarks on Sonia and Rahul.

Herald case; Sonia, Rahul get relief from High Court

sonia-rahulIn a relief to Congress president and vice president Sonia and Rahul Gandhi, the Delhi High Court stayed their summons in the National Herald case till August 13.

This essentially means that both the Congress leaders will not have to appear in a Delhi Court tomorrow.

Now their appeal will be heard by Delhi HC.

Sonia Gandhi had yesterday opposed in the Delhi High Court the private criminal complaint against her and the summons issued by a trial court in the case saying a political party is within its right to “write-off” or “assign” a loan.

“The issuance of process in this case is shocking and out of order, to say the least, and no illegality can be found either on the facts or on the law,” former Law Minister and senior advocate Kapil Sibal, appearing for the Congress president, had told a bench of Justice VK Vaish, as per PTI reports.

The trial court had issued summons to various Congress leaders on the complaint of BJP leader Subramanian Swamy who has alleged cheating and misappropriation of funds in acquiring ownership of the now-defunct daily National Herald by Young Indian (YI).

Sonia, Rahul, party treasurer Moti Lal Vora are among the directors of YI, who have been summoned.

Seeking setting aside of Swamy’s complaint, Gandhi had said the Associated Journals Limited (AJL), which had been publishing newspapers ‘National Herald’ in English, “Navjivan” in Hindi and “Quami Awaz” in Urdu, had taken loans to the tune of Rs 90 crores from the Congress Party.

The loan, given to AJL, was assigned to YI by the Congress party and then a process of conversion of Rs 90 crores loan was taken by AJL which then issued fresh equities in favour of charitable firm YI.

Congress party for a monetary consideration of Rs 50 lakhs had decided to assign Rs 90 crores loan to YI, she maintained.

Citing various law and verdicts, Sibal had said that these are valid transactions and no illegality can be found.

“The Congress Party was well within its right to give the loan to AJL in view of the objects of AJL which included dissemination of the views of policy and principles of INC,” he had said, adding, “The INC was equally within its right to write-off the loan/assign the loan to YI and there was no breach or illegality. There is no illegality in extending support to a Section 25 company (charitable firm YI) by the INC.”

The trial court on June 26 had summoned Sonia, Rahul, Vora, party general secretary Oscar Fernandes, Suman Dubey and Sam Pitroda to appear before it on August 7.

Referring to trial court’s order in the case, Sibal had said that the basic ingredients of the offences have not been met.

“There may be allegations in the complaint but there was no evidence to support them,” he had argued.

Dealing with the offence of dishonest misappropriation of property, he had maintained that the basic ingredients of the offence are that the property should belong to a person other than the accused and “the accused should wrongly appropriate or convert such property to his own use”.

Meanwhile, referring to the offence of criminal breach of trust, the lawyer had said that a person should have been entrusted with property, or entrusted with dominion of property and “the person should dishonestly misappropriate or convert to his own use that property or dishonestly use or dispose of that property or wilfully suffer any other person to do so.”

“Sadly, this is also not backed by documentary evidence,” he told the court, adding that the basic elements of breach of trust and cheating are missing.

Meanwhile, Sonia in her plea, had also sought setting aside of the compliant saying it was “politically motivated and intended to wreak vengeance and unleash political vendetta” against her.

(Source: PTI )

Political party can write off or assign loans: Sonia to HC

sonia gandhiCongress President Sonia Gandhi on Tuesday opposed in the Delhi High Court the private criminal complaint against her and the summons issued by a trial court in the National Herald case saying a political party is within its right to “write-off” or “assign” a loan.

“The issuance of process in this case is shocking and out of order, to say the least, and no illegality can be found either on the facts or on the law,” former Law Minister and senior advocate Kapil Sibal, appearing for the Congress President, told a bench of Justice V K Vaish.

The trial court had issued summons to various Congress leaders on the complaint of BJP leader Subramanian Swamy who has alleged cheating and misappropriation of funds in acquiring ownership of the now-defunct daily National Herald by Young Indian (YI).

Sonia Gandhi, Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi, Party Treasurer Moti Lal Vora are among the directors of YI, who have been summoned.

Seeking setting aside of Swamy’s complaint, Gandhi said the Associated Journals Limited (AJL), which had been publishing newspapers ‘National Herald’ in English, “Navjivan” in Hindi and “Quami Awaz” in Urdu, had taken loans to the tune of Rs 90 crores from the Congress Party.

The loan, given to AJL, was assigned to YI by the Congress party and then a process of conversion of Rs 90 crores loan was taken by AJL which then issued fresh equities in favour of charitable firm YI.

Congress Party for a monetary consideration of Rs 50 lakhs had decided to assign Rs 90 crores loan to YI, she maintained.

(Source: PTI)

Sonia Gandhi declines to show US court her passport

sonia gandhiCongress president Sonia Gandhi has declined to provide a copy of her passport to a US court, saying that Government of India had denied her permission to do so.

However, in a letter filed by her lawyer in a federal court in Brooklyn, New York, Gandhi “voluntarily” relinquished the plea of lack of personal jurisdiction “without prejudice to the plea of want of jurisdiction in relation to the subject matter.”

Gandhi had filed a motion in the Brooklyn court seeking dismissal of a human rights violation case against her relating to the 1984 anti-Sikh riots, asserting she had not been served the summons as she was not in the US between September 2 and September 9 last year.

But holding that Gandhi’s January 10 declaration was insufficient to prove her absence from US, Judge Brian M. Cogan had March 20 asked Gandhi to “provide a copy of her passport, showing her most recent entry and exit stamps into and out of the United States.”

“In matters of disclosure of my travels, which are contained in the passport document, the Government of India has informed me that they would not permit such a disclosure,” Gandhi wrote in a letter to her lawyer Ravi Batra. “However, as I have nothing to hide, I voluntarily relinquish the plea of lack of personal jurisdiction.”

“I may add that the present submission is without prejudice to the plea of want of jurisdiction in relation to the subject matter,” she wrote. The Brooklyn court had in September 2013 issued summons against Gandhi on a complaint filed by Sikhs for Justice (SFJ) and some victims of the 1984 violence.

Since Gandhi has conceded the court’s personal jurisdiction by withdrawing objection to service of summons, the court will move to subject matter jurisdiction to hear the charges of shielding and protecting those responsible for 1984 anti-Sikh riots, SFJ Legal advisor Gurpatwant Singh Pannun said.

The case against Gandhi hinged on the issue whether she was served on September 9 as claimed by SFJ or she was not present in the US during that time as asserted by her. SFJ claims that on September 9, it had served the summons and complaint on the hospital and security staff at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Centre in New York where Sonia Gandhi was believed to be undergoing medical treatment.

(Source: IANS)

Congress will continue to champion Dalits’ empowerment: Sonia

soniaCongress president Sonia Gandhi Wednesday snubbed party leader Janardan Dwivedi’s statement calling for an end to reservation along caste lines, saying the empowerment of Scheduled Castes and Tribes and Backward Classes has been “an article of faith with the Congress”.
“There should be no doubt or ambiguity on the stand of the Congress on the system of reservation for SC/ST and OBCs. They were introduced by the Congress, they have been strengthened by the Congress and will continue to be championed by the Congress,” Gandhi said in a two-page statement.
She said she was of the “firm opinion” that the system of reservation for SCs, STs and OBCs must continue. “This is essential to deal with the discrimination imposed by centuries of subjugation and oppression,” she said. “It is the Congress that introduced the system of reservation for SC/ST in government employment and educational institutions as well as elected bodies way back in early 1950s.”
“It is the Congress, which introduced reservation for OBCs in government employment and educational institutions in the mid 1990s and later.” Stating that the Congress believes in true equality of opportunity for everyone, Gandhi said the party has introduced two bills to strengthen the framework of reservations – the SC/ST (Reservation in post and services) bill, 2008 as also a Constitution (117th) Amendment bill aimed at providing reservation in promotions.
She recalled that Congress had also launched massive scholarship schemes and today over one crore youths belonging to SCs/STs and OBCs are beneficiaries of these schemes every month. The party has also put in place policies to encourage procurement of goods and services by government agencies from enterprises promoted by SCs and STs.
She also said the party was committed to bringing in a central legislation on SC Sub Plan and Tribal Sub Plan and it has also initiated a national dialogue for ensuring affirmative action for SC and ST in the private sector. Party spokesperson Randeep Surjewala, distancing the party from Dwivedi’s statement, said it was his “personal opinion”.
“Congress continues to adhere to, subscribe to, and support existing reservation policy as on today. There is no re-thinking or change in our stand,” he said.

(Source: IANS)

Hindu terror remark: Plea to make PM, Sonia witness

A plea was on Thursday filed in a Delhi court to seek its nod to examine Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Congress president Sonia Gandhi as witnesses in a private complaint case filed against Union Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde for his alleged “Hindu terror” remarks made at Jaipur.


Taking up the application, Metropolitan Magistrate Harun Pratap asked complainant Vivek Garg, a RTI activist, to explain why was it relevant to summon the Prime Minister and Gandhi as witnesses.

“Complainant is directed to show relevancy of each and every witness sought to be summoned by him,” the court said.

 It also directed the complainant to “file an affidavit along with synopsis showing relevancy of witnesses sought to be summoned.”

The complainant also sought to call senior Congress leader Mani Shankar Aiyar and Chandrabhan of Rajasthan Pradesh Congress as witnesses.

Jairam Garg, appearing for the complainant, told the court that he wanted them to be summoned as witnesses as all of them were present in the AICC meet at Jaipur where Shinde had made the alleged remarks.

Garg had earlier filed the complaint seeking registration of an FIR against Shinde for his alleged comments during the AICC meet at Jaipur in January.

Earlier, the court had dismissed the plea for registration of the FIR, but had allowed the complainant to lead evidence in support of his allegations in the private complaint.

Shinde had at the AICC meet on January 20 said, “Reports have come during investigation that BJP and RSS conduct terror training camps to spread terrorism…Bombs were planted in Samjhauta express, Mecca Masjid and also a blast was carried out in Malegaon.”

(Source:PTI)

Emergent notices issued to Cong Prez Sonia, others

An order has been issued on emergent notices to Congress President Sonia Gandhi and state PCC chief G Parameshwara has been issued by the Karnataka High Court on the petition seeking a probe into alleged collection of funds from party members seeking tickets for the May 5 state Assembly polls.

Justice Abdul Nazeer ordered issue of notices also to the Election Commission and state Chief Electoral Officer on the plea by V Shashidhar, who, claiming to be a Congress worker and a ticket aspirant, alleged Rs 10,000 each had been collected from such aspirants.

The petitioner’s advocate, G R Mohan, prayed for a writ of mandamus to EC to formulate proper guidelines and procedures to prevent funds collection for the polls by political parties, specially Congress President and PCC chief.

He also sought a direction to the EC to consider the representation of the petitioner for holding a probe by the CBI or a Special Investigation Team into the matter.

In his interim prayer, the petitioner sought an interim order by the High Court to direct the EC to seize the amount allegedly collected so far by the KPCC chief.

“They have no authority of law to collect a sum of Rs 10,000 from each of its members for the Assembly elections 2013. The total amount collected from about 2,500 members, may be more than Rs two crore,” he claimed.

The counsel submitted that the petitioner, along with other applicants for the assembly tickets, were required to pay Rs 10,000 each for the constituency from where they wished to contest as “party fund”.

The petitioner had remitted the sum by demand draft for which a receipt was issued by the KPCC President, according to him.

Rioting case: Kejriwal, Bhushan comply with summons & released

Delhi court released  Amid high drama, Arvind Kejriwal, Prashant Bhushan and other members of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) when they appeared before it following summonses for alleged involvement in rioting cases in New Delhi last year.

The court released Kejriwal, Bhushan, Manish Sisodia and 23 others on an undertaking that they will appear before it to face trial in the case after they refused to seek bail before it.

Bhushan objected to the use of words “released on bail” in the initial order which was later changed by the judge by dropping the word bail from the order.

The court room at the Patiala House was jampacked with the supporters and members of AAP who shouted “no bail, no bail” while the order was pronounced.

“All the aforesaid accused are released, subject to their signing this order as acknowledgement of their undertaking to this court that they will face trial, appear on all the dates of hearing and abide by the conditions imposed by this court, during trial,” Metropolitan Magistrate (MM) Jay Thareja said and fixed the matter for further hearing on February 23.

Kejriwal and other AAP members appeared before the court following summonses issued against them in connection with three separate cases for allegedly violating prohibitory orders imposed under Section 144 of the CrPC during their protest on the coal blocks allocation scam in August last year at the Prime Minister’s residence and other places here.

During the day’s proceedings, they told the court they will not seek bail in the case as the police has filed false cases against them to harass and curb their protest.

However the magistrate told that he was bound to grant them bail in the case.

“The law says if the accused appears before the court after filing of charge sheet in such cases, accused should be granted bail. I need atleast a surety. I cannot violate the law of the land,” the magistrate said and told the accused that he would conduct an expeditious trial in the case.

In response, Kejriwal told the court that they respect the law of the land but whether to take bail is their right and they have decided not to take bail in the case.

“We respect the law and your (magistrate’s) position. Our only weapon is truth and we are on that way only. We deliberately violated Sec 144 and we are ready to face the punishment. We have decided not to seek bail in this case,” according him.

Bhushan, an accused in the case, argued that the imposition of Sec 144 by Delhi police was “illegal” and in violation of the orders passed by the Supreme Court.

“The point here is that this (imposition of Sec 144) has become the easiest way for police or the government to harass activists and political opponents…the charge sheet and trial is itself a punishment for us,” according to him.

Bhushan further told that Sec 144 is a provision which is meant to take care of an emergency situation only.

“How can the police apprehend that there was threat to law and order if we will march to PM’s residence? We have been holding protests during our anti corruption movement for a long time and nowhere we have indulged in any violent protest,” he told.

Similarly, Sisodia and another AAP leader Kumar Vishwas, told the court that these are false cases registered by the police just to curb their anti-corruption protest against the government.

All the accused repeatedly told the court that they will not seek bail and will not furnish any bail bond or personal bond for their release.

According to the charge sheet, on August 26 last year, these accused had violated Sec 144 and had staged protest outside the residence of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Congress President Sonia Gandhi against the alleged coal block allocation scam case.

The police has said that they accused had also damaged public property during the protest and some of their senior officers were injured by them.

The police had registered three FIRs against them under various sections of the IPC which deal with rioting, unlawful assembly and use of force to obstruct public servants from discharging their duty as well as section 3 of the Prevention of Damage to Public Property Act.