Subramanian Swamy drags Rahul Gandhi to face probe

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Subramanian Swamy
New Delhi, Nov 17: Despite facing defeat recently, Subramanian Swamy seems to be in no mood to spare Rahul Gandhi from facing an investigation for allegedly cheating the department by furnishing wrong information about his assets.

In a letter to the Election Commission (EC), the Janata Party chief earlier had accused the General Secretary of All Indian Congress Committee (AICC) of not concealing information regarding shares owned by him in Associated Journals which ran the now-defunct National Herald newspaper in the affidavit he filed during Lok Sabha elections in 2009.

Citing Swamy's petition, the EC on Saturday, Nov 16 asked Returning Officer of Amethi Lok Sabha constituency to conduct an investigation on Rahul.

The EC letter instructing the Returning Officer to start probe on Rahul says, "Since the affidavit is filed before the Returning Officer, in view of the provisions of Section 195 of CrPC, it is the Returning Officer concerned, who is the competent authority to consider any complaint regarding false statement in the affidavit..."

Recently, the EC had overruled Swamy's another appeal seeking de-recognition of Congress. Rejecting Swamy's petition, the EC had said, "The Commission takes serious exception to Swamy's allegations questioning the impartiality of the Commission, which the Commission rejects as completely baseless."

In a letter to the EC, Swamy had said Congress has "prima facie" committed an offence under electoral law as well as Income Tax law for which it is necessary to hold hearings and decide on de-recognising the party.

His petition to the Commission comes as a follow up to his charges against Congress President Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi over acquisition of Associated Journals that published the newspaper to which Congress gave a loan of over Rs 90 crore.

He had said Associated Journals obtained an unsecured loan of over Rs 90 crore from AICC which he claimed was illegal under Income Tax Act because a political party cannot give loans for commercial purposes.

Swamy also added, "The written admission by senior Congress leader and spokesperson Janardhan Dwivedi in his press release dated November two admitted that Congress has loaned (a sum of more than Rs 90 crore) to a company incorporated under Section 3 of Companies Act, 1956 by name Associated Journals Pvt Ltd."

"This loan is in violation of the Guidelines and Rules that has to be mandatorily followed by political parties for registration as well as recognition. Section 29A to C of RPA and Section 13A of IT Act do not make any provision for any political party to extend loans to companies with or without interest," Swamy said in the letter.

Soon after EC's statement on rejecting his plea, Swamy on Tuesday said, "This was a procedure to go through before approaching the court. The EC should have at least held a hearing, which they didn't do. This is a very pliant institution and is undermined by the Congress."

The Janata Party chief, however, had moved the court challenging the election commission's decision of not de-recognising the party.

OneIndia News
(With PTI inputs)

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