[Live Updates]: Cross Examination of Subramanian Swamy in National Herald Case

[Live Updates]: Cross Examination of Subramanian Swamy in National Herald Case

Bar & Bench

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 will be continuing the cross examination of Subramanian Swamy today.

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, Subramanian 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.

Read an account of Day 1 of the cross examination of Subramanian Swamy here.

Live updates of today’s cross examination follow:

  • Court of Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate assembles to hear the National Herald case. 
  • Cross-Examination of Subramanian Swamy by counsel for Rahul and Sonia Gandhi to continue. 
  • Senior Advocate RS Cheema begins the cross-examination, draws Swamy’s attention to his previous answer that it was incorrect that one of the basic postulates of his case was the permanent closure of the National Herald.
  • Swamy: I already made my stand clear, I relied on an email sent from the office of Rahul Gandhi to J Gopikrishnan. 
  • It is correct that no communication or query with regard to revival or closure of publication of National Herald was ever addressed by me or on my behalf, either to AJL or to Young Indian, Swamy.
  • Cheema refers to Swamy’s complaint stating that there was a criminal conspiracy to dishonesty and fraudulently double cheat and misappropriate.
  • Swamy: It is correct that I never said anything about AJL. It is correct that the shareholders of AJL were cheated. I have not said that AJL was cheated
  • Cheema: I put it to you that there is no reference drawing a distinction between AJL and its shareholders (in any part of the complaint) to justify your stance that you had alleged the cheating of shareholders but never alleged cheating of AJL. Swamy: I deny that.
  • Cheema: Can you point out any portion in the complaint where this distinction is pin-pointed? Swamy: I stand by para 18 (of the complaint) and there is no need for any clarification. I am aware of the contents of my complaint.
  • Cheema refers to a portion of the complaint to show that Swany had called both AJL and its shareholders as victims of cheating.
  • Swamy: This is perhaps a typographical mistake. I would have wanted to say “AJL’s shareholders”.
  • Cheema: Do I take it that you discovered this typographical error for the first time today after it was pointed out? Swamy: Yes. I thank you for it.
  • Cheema refers to another portion of the complaint to state that Swamy had specifically alleged that AJL was a victim of dishonest misappropriation and criminal breach of trust.
  • Swamy: This is also a typographical mistake and nothing devolves on it.
  • Cheema refers to other portions referring to AJL as a victim. Swamy: My answer is the same as my previous answer. I discovered it today during cross examination.
  • Cheema: As per your complaint or deposition, Rahul Gandhi or Sonia Gandhi have never been on the Board of Directors of AJL at any time. Swamy: Yes, it is correct.
  • Cheema: As per your complaint or deposition, Rahul Gandhi or Sonia Gandhi have never been on the Board of Directors of AJL at any time. Swamy: Yes, it is correct.
  • It is incorrect to suggest that I have made conscious improvement and departure from my original stance in the complaint while excluding AJL, as a company, from the array of victims or persons alleged cheated.., Court records on behalf of Swamy.
  • Cheema refers to the allegation of Young Indian receiving the rent accruing to AJL for any space which was commercially leased out. It put it to you that allegation is false to your knowledge. Swamy: It is incorrect.
  • Cheema: Is it your case that the amount ie. Rs 60 lakh rent was going to Young Indian as you have mentioned in your complaint? Swamy: I stand by my complaint.
  • Cheema refers to annual return of YI filed for period Nov 23,2010 to March 31, 2012 and a Director’s Report submitted by Swamy during pre summoning evidence. This return does not show or indicate receipt of any rent by YI being so transmitted by AJL, Cheema.
  • Swamy: This document is up to March 31, 2012. In my complaint, I have not relied on it or quoted from it. The mere fact that one year there was no report of rent, does not mean that later years no such entry has been shown.
  • Cheema: Is it your case that in the later years the receipt of rental income is duly reflected in the documents filed by AJL or YI before the RoC,bIncome Tax Authority or other statutory filing?
  • Swamy: I rely on the information collected by the Income Tax Authorities. A claim was made by IT authorities against YI with this regard in December 2017.
  • Cheema: Are in possession of any statutory return showing such payment of rent accruing to AJL to YI? Swamy: No. I have relied on Income Tax dept investigation which was also initiated on my complaint to them. I have not placed on record a copy of the complaint.
  • Cheema: Can you provide a copy of the complaint filed by you or file in the Court? Swamy: I will file the complaint along with the IT claim document which is awaiting being taken on record.
  • Cheema: Is it always open to you to summon appropriate documents to prove any “related party transactionsin the Annual Returns with the RoC”. Swamy: Yes, but I did not because the IT assessment order was sufficient in my understanding.
  • It is incorrect that the so called assessment order does not even have a remote connection with the alleged rental being recieved by YI as claimed by me, Court records on behalf of Swamy.
  • It is further incorrect that I am fully aware of the fact that not a single penny of any income accruing to AJL is being transmitted to YI ..and I am taking a shelter of the assessment order which is totally irrelevant, Swamy.
  • Cheema: Are you in possession of any resolution or written directive or document for setting up allegations with respect to misuse of the Herald House property by YI?
  • Swamy: Yes. I have relied on the proceedings of the Urban development ministry, DDA and an RTI. I came to know about the action taken by the Minisrty and DDA after the summoning order.
  • Cheema: Have you filed the complaints before these authorities which lead to initiation of proceedings now being mentioned by you?
  • Swamy: The proceedings came to my knowledge through an RTI application. I was not the complainant. Subsequently when action was initiated by Ministry, the accused went to the Delhi High Court and then Supreme Court. I have already brought on record copies of the petitions and it is pending.
  • It is correct that the Supreme Court has stayed the order of High Court refusing relief, Swamy.
  • Cheema: Did you file a complaint before the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs which was recieved in their office on 07.03.2018 ?
  • Swamy: I have certainly written a letter to the Ministry. I will produce it on the next date of hearing.

Hearing adjourned for the day. Matter to be taken up next on November 29-30 at 11 am.

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