The defeat of the Congress backed candidate in the Rajya Sabha elections is the not the only blow to the Congress in the past few days. Congress president Rahul Gandhi has personally too received a blow from the Delhi High Court on Wednesday. The Delhi High Court which is holding the trials for the National Herald case did not grant any relief to the Congress President. The High Court bench of Justice S Ravindra Bhat and Justice AK Chawla passed the decision related to tax assessment for financial year 2011-12 for National Herald and Young India Pvt Ltd. Rahul had challenged the Income Tax authority’s order to reopen tax assessment file related to the National Herald and Young India. The IT department had informed the High Court that the All India Congress Committee had given Rs 99 crores to Associate Journal Ltd. The IT department also added that Rahul had hidden the fact that he held the director’s post at Young India publications. For these reasons the IT department wanted to have a reassessment of the National Herald and Young India publication files. The Congress president’s plea to stop the reassessment were struck down by the court, his second plea to stop the media from reporting the developments in this regard were also refused by the court.
The National Herald case is a corruption case in which the Congress top brass, especially Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi, are alleged to have minted millions from an ailing news agency called National Herald. National Herald had become defunct by 2008. According to the court proceedings, as made public, the accused are allegedly charged with the provisions of misappropriation of property, criminal breach of trust, cheating and criminal conspiracy under the provisions of the Indian Penal Code.
The following people are accused of the offence, as petitioned by Dr. Subramanian Swamy:
- Sonia Gandhi, Ex NAC Chairperson and MP from Rae Bareli
- Rahul Gandhi, current President of Congress Party and MP from Amethi
- Motilal Vora, ex AICC treasurer
- Oscar Fernandes, ex Youth Affairs and Sports Minister and AICC General Secretary
- Suman Dubey
- Sam Pitroda, ex Chairman of National Knowledge Commission and ex advisor to the Prime Minister
- The officials of Young Indian magazine
National Herald case could turn out to be a major headache for the Congress if the High court decides to give its final decision prior to the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. It has already been a touchy topic for the Congress leader and especially for the Nehru-Gandhi family which is directly related to the case. Rahul Gandhi and Sonia Gandhi being the prime accused in the case makes it a very important and sensitive one for the prospects of the party in the upcoming elections. A decision which is unlikely to go in their favour coupled with a timing which is before the 2019 elections will badly damage the reputation of Congress and make it impossible for them to project Rahul Gandhi as the prime ministerial candidate for the opposition. The public backlash which is sure to follow a defeat in the court case will also make their future look even bleaker.
Subramanian Swamy is trying everything to make sure that Congress has no room to escape from this case. His continued efforts in this regard are commendable and going by how sure he is of Congress leaders being at fault the decision which is going to come sooner or later will surely be painful for the Congress.