11/03/2016 10:23 PM IST | Updated 15/07/2016 8:26 AM IST

Delhi Court Seeks Congress Party's Balance Sheet In National Herald Case

Congress party President Sonia Gandhi, right, listens to her son and party Vice President Rahul Gandhi during celebrations marking the birth anniversary of the first Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru in New Delhi, India, Saturday, Nov. 14, 2015. The day is also marked as Children's Day in India. (AP Photo /Tsering Topgyal)

A Delhi court on Friday summoned the balance sheet of Indian National Congress (INC) for the year 2010-2011 in connection with the National Herald case in which Congress President Sonia Gandhi, her son Rahul Gandhi and five others are accused.

Besides this, the court also summoned the balance sheet of 2010-2011 of Associated Journals Pvt Ltd (AJL) observing that these documents of INC and AJL could not be referred as "personal documents" of the accused.

"Accordingly, it is directed that the balance sheet of INC pertaining to the year 2010-2011 be summoned on filing of PF (process fee) for the next date of hearing," Metropolitan Magistrate Lovleen said in his three-page order.

"At the very outset, this court must observe that the documents referred to in the present application belong to two separate entities, i.e., INC and AJL. By no stretch of imagination, the documents could be referred to as 'personal documents' of accused persons," the court said.

The order came on BJP Leader Subramanian Swamy's plea in which he had sought summoning of balance sheet, receipts and payments accounts, income and expenditure statements for the year 2010-2011, 2011-2012 and 2012-2013 of INC and AJL.

Swamy, who in his plea had initially sought summoning of documents of Young Indian Pvt Ltd (YI) also, later on did not press for it during the arguments.

He had earlier told the court that these records were necessary to establish the method adopted by the accused for purpose of extending loans to acquire AJL, through YI.

The matter would now come up for hearing on March 21.

In its order, the court noted that allegations against the accused were that "all or some of them were holding important positions in all or either of the abovesaid three entities (INC, AJL and YI) and they exploited their positions in order to cause wrongful gain to themselves in the manner as mentioned in the summoning order dated June 26, 2014."

"One of the causes of summoning of accused person is that they advanced an interest free loan to AJL to the tune of approximately Rs 90 crores from the funds of Congress Party and thereby defrauded the donors of the Congress Party as well as the state exchequer by claiming tax exemptions," it noted.

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