Know more about National Herald Scam that might send Gandhi duo behind bars

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Know more about National Herald Scam that might send Gandhi duo behind bars
New Delhi, June 26: A Delhi court on Thursday issued summons to Congress president Sonia Gandhi and her son and party vice president Rahul Gandhi on charges of misappropriating funds of a company that used to publish the now defunct National Herald newspaper.

The Congress called it "a motivated complaint". "The allegations are baseless," said party spokesperson Abhishek Manu Singhvi. A party statement added: "All the persons named in the National Herald matter will seek legal advice and do the needful." Apart from the Gandhis, the court also summoned Congress leaders Motilal Vora and Oscar Fernandes, Sam Pitroda, who was an advisor to prime minister Manmohan Singh, and former journalist Suman Dubey, who is close to the Gandhi family.

The scam and Subramanian Swamy's allegations

The complaint alleged that the Gandhis formed a company, Young India, in 2010 with 38 percent share each to take control of Rs.2,000 crore worth of assets of Associated Journals Ltd, which published the National Herald. The National Herald was started in 1938 by Jawaharlal Nehru. Over the decades, it lost circulation and ran into major financial losses, leading to its closure in 2008.

According to Subramanian Swamy, the offence was made possible because of the Gandhis' "crony control over the Congress party and AJL". He alleged that they closed AJL in 2008 due to financial crisis and stopped printing the National Herald and sister publications Navjivan (Hindi) and Qaumi Awaz (Urdu), which were saddled with huge unpaid debts.

To resolve the financial crisis, AJL transferred the share equity to Young India by a mere payment of Rs.50 lakhs without taking any reference from the shareholders.

Young India thus acquired the complete ownership of AJL real estate assets of at least Rs.2,000 crores, including a multi-story building in a prime location in Delhi.

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