December 10th, 2015
The controversy surrounding National Herald case has reached the Parliament, leading to logjam for the fourth consecutive day. As citizens, we needn’t be worried about the non-functioning of the Parliament because we should have grown comfortable with it over the year. If we haven’t, then we aren’t tolerant enough.
National Herald was a newspaper set up by Jawaharlal Nehru in 1938 and closed down in 2008 due to financial crisis. Jawaharlal Nehru was an early editor of the newspaper and until his appointment as Prime Minister was Chairman of Herald’s Board of Directors.
At the time of closing, the newspaper was in debt of Rs 90 crore.
After closing down of National Herald: Associated Journals Limited(AJL), a public limited company, which published the National Herald became a real estate firm with buildings in New Delhi, Lucknow, Mumbai and Bhopal. In November 2010, AJL with both its assets and liabilities was taken over by a newly floated company called Young India Limited. Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi both have shares of 38% in Young India Limited(YIL) and the remaining shares held by Congressmen Motilal Vora, Oscar Fernandes, Sam Pitroda and Suman Dubey. Congress party gave Young India Limited Rs 90.25 crore interest-free loan to YIL to acquire AJL and wrote off the loan given to AJL as unrecoverable in subsequent years.
What are the allegations of Subramanian Swamy?
1. In 2012, Subramanian Swamy filed a complaint before the trial court alleging that the owners of Young India limited were involved in cheating and breach of trust in the acquistion of AJL by YIL.
2. Subramanian Swamy alleged that they did all that to acquire defunct National Herald and so the AJL which is worth Rs. 2000 crore now.
3. He alleged that YIL paid just Rs. 50 Lakh to own entire share equity of AJL.
4. He also alleges that the fund given by Congress to Young India was illegal because under the Income Tax Act, no political organisation can have financial transactions with a third party.
What Has The Trial Court Said In The Case So Far?
Metropolitan Magistrate Gomati Manocha has summoned Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi and other four owners to appear before the court on 19th December. The court observed that Young India acquired AJL with an intention to convert public money to personal use and all the accused were part of it.
Where Does Congress Stand?
Congress has refuted all the claims and said that YIL was created with an aim of charity and that the said case is “politically motivated”.
In The Video Below, Dr. Subramanian Swamy Explains His Version: