New Delhi: A Delhi court Thursday issued summons to Congress chief Sonia Gandhi and her son and party vice president Rahul Gandhi for misappropriating the funds of the National Herald newspaper that was shut down some years ago.
Metropolitian magistrate Gomati Manocha, while issuing the summons, said: "I have found prima facie evidence against all the accused. The court has directed them to appear before it Aug 7."
Sonia and Rahul Gandhi, who are directors in the new company, own 76 per cent stake in it. The remaining shares are owned by Congress leaders Motilal Vora and Oscar Fernandez, who have also been summoned.
The summons was issued on a private complaint filed by BJP leader Subramanian Swamy.
In his petition, Mr Swamy alleged that the leaders had provided interest-free loans to Young Indian to acquire Associate Journals Limited, the company that owned National Herald. He alleged that the company allowed them to "grab properties of Associated Journals worth Rs. 500 crores using the Rs.90 crore fund of All India Congress Committee".
This is a case of fraud and breach of trust, and Sonia and Rahul can be sentenced to anywhere between seven years and life term, the BJP leader said.
The National Herald newspaper was established in 1938 by India's first prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru. It was shut down in 2008.