The Congress is likely to approach the HC seeking quashing of the complaint filed by BJP leader Subramanian Swamy against party chief Sonia Gandhi and vice-president Rahul Gandhi for alleged cheating and misappropriation of funds in acquiring ownership of the now defunct daily National Herald.
Admitting the complaint, metropolitan magistrate Gomati Manocha had on Thursday issued summons to the Gandhis and Congress treasurer Motilal Vora, senior leader Oscar Fernandes, veteran journalist Suman Dubey and technocrat Sam Pitroda. Sources said senior lawyer and party spokesperson Abhishek Manu Singhvi is studying the matter and could approach the High Court soon.
Sources in the Congress said one of the line of arguments could be that Swamy has no locus standi to file the complaint.
Besides, they suggested that under the Companies it is the Registrar of Companies who should be requested to take cognizance if a “bona fide issue” is to be raised. And then there is the Company Law Board.
The Congress Friday said Young Indian Ltd (YI), a company that was incorporated in 2010 and which took over the “debt” of Associated Journals Ltd, the publisher of National Herald, was a not-for-profit company registered under Section 25 of the Companies Act and claimed that the argument that Rs 2,000 crore assets of Associated Journals Ltd could be used for personal gains does not hold water.
“Subramaniam Swamy as also his colleagues in the BJP forgot to tell the court that Young Indian is nothing but a not-for-profit company under Section 25 of the Companies Act. A principal foundation of a not for profit company — a prerequisite is that none of the directors or shareholders can claim any remuneration, salary or other cash or other emoluments.
It is also a prerequisite that no profit or dividend of any nature can ever be given to any shareholder. It is also a prerequisite that any income or sources of any not-for-profit company have to be necessarily utilised for the defined objects of the company,” Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala said.