BJP MP Subramanian Swamy today withdrew his plea seeking summoning of former Haryana chief minister and Congress leader B S Hooda as a witness in the National Herald case filed by him against top Congress leaders Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi and others. Swamy had earlier told the court that Hooda was questioned by the CBI in a case related to the Panchkula plot allotment matter and his deposition in this case would help the present case since both the matters were related. Swamy, however, today told the Metropolitan Magistrate Lovleen that the present case was not related to the one being investigated by the CBI.
The court allowed his plea and posted the matter for further hearing for July one. Swamy, in his private criminal complaint, has accused the Gandhis and others of conspiring to cheat and misappropriate funds by paying just Rs 50 lakh through which Young Indian Pvt Ltd (YI) obtained the right to recover Rs 90.25 crore which the Associate Journals Limited (AJL) owed to the Congress. The Gandhis and other accused — Motilal Vora, Oscar Fernandes, Suman Dubey and Sam Pitroda — have denied the allegations levelled against them.
On April 22, Hooda was arrayed as a witness by Swamy in support of his complaint in the case. The list also included the names of three other public servants in the Haryana government — Sandeep Singh Dhillon, an IAS officer then associated with Haryana Urban Development Authority, Vineet Garg, IAS and Shakuntala Jakhu, then Financial Commissioner at the Town and Country Planning department of the state.
Swamy had also filed a copy of the CBI case documents in Panchkula plot allotment matter and claimed that even the Enforcement Directorate (ED) has filed a case in the same matter and had reportedly questioned Hooda, Robert Vadra and Motilal Vora on alleged money laundering with regard to Associate Journals Ltd (AJL). The submission was opposed by the counsel appearing for the Gandhis and others who claimed that CBI and the ED matters were not related to the present complaint of Swamy. Swamy had said that he needed time to verify whether the CBI and ED cases in the Panchkula matter were connected to the present matter.
The court had summoned the accused persons, besides YI on June 26, 2014. On December 19, 2015, it had granted bail to Sonia, Rahul, Vora, Fernandes and Dubey, who had appeared before it pursuant to summons. Pitroda was granted bail on February 20, 2016 when he had appeared in the court. Sonia, Rahul, Vora (AICC treasurer), Fernandes (AICC general secretary), Dubey and Pitroda were summoned for alleged offences under section 403 (dishonest misappropriation of property), 406 (criminal breach of trust) and 420 (cheating) read with section 120B (criminal conspiracy) of the IPC.