In recent developments on Friday, The Delhi High Court gave a nod to income tax investigations in the case of Young Indian, a company where Congress leaders Sonia and Rahul Gandhi are main stakeholders. It is to be noted that the Patiala House Court had allowed to investigate income tax of Gandhis, which was then challenged at the Delhi High Court. It all started when Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Subramanian Swamy had filed an application in 2012, accusing Sonia Gandhi and her son Rahul Gandhi and others associated with the Congress of conspiring to cheat in the land deal.
“We are not inclined to entertain your writ petition. It is better you withdraw it and approach the income tax assessing officer,” the court stated. Young Indian has decided to comply with the order and withdraw its case.
Sambit Patra of the ruling BJP called it a “major setback” for the Congress whilst Abhishek Manu Singhvi, Senior Lawyer & Leader, INC, stated “We will now go back to the assessing officer and can raise objections, including challenge re-opening income tax investigations, as the IT department doesn’t have enough evidence to probe Young Indian”.
The case basically revolves around Associated Journals Limited, publisher of three newspapers, including the National Herald, an English daily founded and edited by Jawaharlal Nehru before he became India’s first prime minister. In 2008, the company shut down with an alleged unpaid debt of about 90 crore rupees. BJP leader Subramanian Swamy has accused Rahul Gandhi, PM Nehru’s great-grandson, and Sonia, of setting up Young Indian Company to buy the debt using Congress party funds even though Associated Journals allegedly had real estate assets worth at least 2,000 crores, which would have cleared the debt.
The Gandhis in January 2016 won an appeal to be exempted from personal appearances in court to answer allegations that they used their leadership of the Congress to misuse party funds for personal profit.