Congress President Sonia Gandhi on Wednesday termed as ‘political vendetta’ a petition in court which has resulted in an Income Tax notice being issued to her and Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi in the National Herald case.

Congress President Sonia Gandhi. AFP

“This Political witch hunt will only enable us come to power faster,” Gandhi told reporters in New Delhi.

Last month, the Congress party dismissed the charges against the Gandhis, terming the move by the BJP a political “vendetta”.

“The entire episode leading to the filing of a complaint by Subramanian Swamy is nothing but a motivated, mischievous and malicious attempt by him and the BJP’s dirty tricks department to unleash their revengeful vendetta,” Congress spokesperson Randip Surjewala had said, at a press conference after a court summons was issued to the Gandhis.

He also said that both Swamy and his colleagues in the BJP forgot to tell the court that the Young Indians is a not for profit organization under section 25 of the Companies Act.

He added that in such a company, none of the directors or shareholder can claim any remuneration, salary and other emoluments and it’s a prerequisite that no profit or dividend can be given to any stakeholder.

The Congress spokesperson had also said that all shareholders and Directors in such a company have to abide by the defined objective and in the case of Young Indians, the defined objective was to ensure preservation of democratic values, protection of fundamentals of secularism and propagation of the thought process of Mahatma Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru.

Sonia and Rahul were summoned as accused by a local court for alleged cheating and misappropriation of funds in acquiring the ownership of the now-defunct daily National Herald.

Holding that Swamy, who moved the complaint, has established a prima facie case, Metropolitan Magistrate Gomati Manocha had also issued summons to AICC Treasurer Moti Lal Vohra, General Secretary Oscar Fernandes, and Suman Dubey and Sam Pitroda, besides the Gandhis, to appear before the court on August 7.

All of them are directors of Young Indian Ltd (YI), a company that was incorporated in 2010 and which took over the “debt” of Associated Journals Ltd (AJL), the publisher of National Herald.

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