Monday witnessed the second day of the cross examination of BJP leader and Rajya Sabha MP Subramanian Swamy in the National Herald case. This happened before Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Samar Vishal. Senior Advocate RS Cheema representing Rahul Gandhi and Sonia Gandhi continued the cross examination of Swamy which began on August 30. This case pertains to the Rs.90 crore loan advanced by Congress to Associated Journals Ltd (AJL), owner of National Herald to Young Indian (YI) for a consideration of Rs.50 lakh. The RS MP filed a private complaint in this regard.
In the cross examination, Swamy admitted that he had himself never addressed any communication with reference to the revival or closure of National Herald. He revealed that he had relied on an email sent from the office of Rahul Gandhi to a journalist. Reiterating that AJL itself was not affected, he stated that only the shareholders of AJL were cheated. When Cheema put forth the argument that Swamy had not made such a distinction in his complaint, the latter claimed that it was a typographical error. He also agreed that Rahul and Sonia Gandhi had never been on the Board of Directors at any time.
Swamy had alleged that YI received the rent accruing to AJL for any space that was commercially leased out. Highlighting the annual return of YI for the period November 23, 2010, to March 31, 2012, Cheema reasoned that there was no evidence of any rent transmitted by AJL to YI. The BJP MP countered this by observing that he had not based his complaint on these returns. In fact, he pointed out that the Income Tax department had made such a claim against YI in December 2017.
Thereafter, Cheema asked Swamy whether he was in possession of a written directive or document to make allegations about the misuse of the Herald House property. The latter responded that he learned about the action initiated by the authorities through a Right to Information application. At the same time, he clarified that he was not the complainant in the matter. Swamy noted that he would produce his letter written to the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs on the next day of the hearing.