New Delhi: Amid the raging row over National Herald case, Congress today asserted that the allegations and “insinuations” against party leaders Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi are “deliberately orchestrated”, “patently false” and “defamatory” as they have “not received a rupee”.
Senior party leaders and legal luminaries P Chidambaram and Ashwani Kumar insisted that all transactions in question are legal and expressed confidence that both Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi will be “fully vindicated” through the judicial process.
“(There is) nothing wrong in this transaction. In fact, by putting a non-profit company as the dominant shareholder, we have ensured that not one rupee from the assets can go to anyprivate beneficiary,” said Chidambaram said defending the move to transfer the shares of Associate Journalst Limited (AJL) to Young India, a company of which Sonia and Rahul are major shareholders.
Sonia and Rahul have nothing to worry because “they have not received a rupee benefit”, the former Finance Minister said, while raising questions over Modi government’s role saying it had acted hastily on a “private complaint” to reopen a shut case.
He claimed that the assets of AJL are now “doubly secure” as a non-profit company is the dominant shareholder.
Kumar, in a statement here, said there are “incontrovertible facts” which make it obvious that “allegations and insinuations against the Congress leadership and others are deliberately orchestrated, are patently false and defamatory. All transactions in question are entirely legal.”
In this context, he listed some details of the case as well as Delhi High Court’s judgement of December 7 which, according to him, “held that no question of criminality, even upon a prima facie basis arises at this stage”.
He reproduced Para 36 of the judgement as saying: ‘……It needs no reiteration that this is not the stage to even prima facie opine that the ingredients of any of the alleged offences exist to justify putting petitioners on trial or not. Any observation made in this regard by the trial court or this court shall have no bearing when the case of the petitioners is considered at the charge state.’
Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi have been summoned by a Delhi court in connection with the case on December 19 after the High Court refused to agree to their plea for personal exemption.
This issue led to stalling of Parliament for most of the last week with the Congress creating uproar, alleging “political vendetta”.