[Live Updates] Subramanian Swamy appears for Cross Examination in National Herald Case

[Live Updates] Subramanian Swamy appears for Cross Examination in National Herald Case

Aditi Singh

The cross examination of BJP leader Subramanian Swamy in the National Herald case is currently underway before Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate (ACMM) Samar Vishal.

Senior Advocate RS Cheema is cross-examining Swamy.

The National Herald case pertains to the assignment of a Rs. 90 crore loan advanced by the Congress party to Associated Journals Ltd (AJL) – owner of National  Herald – to Young Indian for a consideration of Rs. 50 lakh.

In his private complaint, Swamy has accused Young Indian, controlled by Rahul Gandhi, Sonia Gandhi, and other Congress leaders, of cheating, criminal conspiracy, criminal breach of trust and misappropriation of property.

Live updates of today’s cross examination follow:

  • Senior Advocate RS Cheema appears for Rahul Gandhi and Sonia Gandhi
  • Cheema asks if the closure of National Herald (NH) permanently by the accused is the basic postulate of his case. Swamy denies the assertion.
  • Swamy: Never said publication of National Herald was “stopped for all times to come”; I said AJL was discontinuing NH. I relied on witness J Gopikrishnan who relied on an email sent by Rahul Gandhi.
  • Swamy: In my evidence, I said neither (whether discontinuing publication was permanent or temporary). Closure was to set the stage for the appropriation of AJL by Young Indian.
  • Cheema: Is it your case that the funding of AJL by Congress was for the purpose of closing National Herald and not to revive it? Swamy: It is incorrect.
  • Cheema produces a part of the complaint by Swamy which “suggests” that the “clear objective behind the funding was to shut down the publication”. Swamy: It is incorrect. I have nothing to comment.
  • Referring to para 7 of the complaint which lays down “eight swift steps” in which the crime was committed, Cheema states that that it referred to a “formal closure” by Swamy.
  • Swamy: It is a formal closure followed by statement made by the Chairman that they are unable to pay Rs 90 crore debt; hence, are closing the publication. I have confirmation from IT Assessment order.
  • The Chairman being referred to is Moti Lal Vohra, another co-accsued in the case.
  • Court gives time to Subramanian Swamy to read his 18 page-complaint in the case to ascertain if he referred to the statement made by the Chairman on the closure of National Herald.
  • After reading the complaint, Swamy states that there is no reference to the fact the Chairman said that National Herald was being closed on account of failure to pay Rs 90 crore debt.
  • Cheema: Do you want to tender any explanation for the said improvement? Swamy: It may not have been material at the time of filing of complaint and pre summoning evidence.
  • Swamy adds: I have not made my improvement today from my earlier complaint and statement.
  • Cheema: Young Indian never made a declaration, as mentioned by you, nor had taken possession of any properties belonging to AJL. What do you have to say? Swamy: It is completely incorrect.
  • Cheema: Can your refer to any official communication of YI incorporating the statement mentioned by you as above. Swamy: Yes, I relied on the email sent by the Office of Accused 2 (Rahul Gandhi) to J Gopikrishnan.
  • Cheema: Can you refer to a document/date/other material to show that YI had taken possession of AJL’s vast real estate? Swamy: YI acquired 99.1% of AJL. RG held 35%. Such documents are available with Registrar of Companies, Delhi High Court.
  • The question of physical possession of properties is irrelevant, Swamy answers. Cheema objects, says it is for the Judge to decide the relevance. Swamy: I am prosecuting for corruption.
  • Cheema: Is it correct that you cannot give any date of taking over of properties by YI or any other documents? Swamy: It is correct that I have not given this information as I do not deem these relevant to the case.
  • Cheema: Did you you download media articles, as referred by you in the complaint? The articles refer to the closure of National Herald. Swamy: It is correct, I have a research team which informed me about it.
  • Cheema: Did you personally check if the contents of the articles were being correctly reproduced? Swamy: I have certainly seen this article as given to me and quoted on complaint. I have not verified from website.
  • Cheema: Have you filed a copy of these stories as a part of the judicial record? Swamy: I don’t think so.
  • Cheema: Is it correct that these articles can be downloaded from the website even today? Swamy: I have no idea.
  • Cheema produces the said article before Court. Swamy reads it briefly. Swamy adds: I will ask my research team to download this article which I will produce on the next date.
  • Cross Examination over for the day. Subramanian Swamy says he needs to go to the Parliament. Cross Examination to continue on February 23.

Read transcript of Swamy’s Cross Examination today:

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