Smash and grab of National Herald

Smash and grab of National Herald

Smash and grab of National Herald

One month after he filed a criminal complaint against Congress president Sonia Gandhi, vice-president Rahul Gandhi, treasurer Motilal Vora, general secretary Oscar Fernandes, family friends Suman Dubey and Sam Pitroda, and the private firm Young Indian, for ‘misappropriation’ of the assets of National Herald and associated journals, before the chief judicial magistrate at Patiala House Courts, New Delhi, Janata Party leader Subramanian Swamy tasted victory.

Metropolitan Magistrate Gomti Minocha took cognizance of the complaint on Friday and directed Swamy to testify in the case on July 9, 2013. The complaint was first heard by link magistrate Ambika Singh on February 14.

Swamy, a well known activist against corruption in high places, has alleged criminal breach of trust by the accused persons against the All India Congress Committee (hereafter Congress) and The Associated Journals Ltd (hereafter AJL) who are the publishers of National Herald newspaper, founded under the chairmanship of Jawaharlal Nehru to support the freedom struggle. Funds were collected from the public at large and since 1977 the party received tax exemption under Section 13A of the Income Tax Act as it was funding the paper.

Yet the assets of AJL shareholders were allegedly ‘misappropriated’ by the accused, under the cloak of Section 25 of the Companies Act, 1956, through crony control over the Congress and AJL, disregarding the conflict of interest and breach of trust involved.

The takeover was executed in eight steps. First, AJL was formally closed and printing of National Herald, Navjivan and Qaumi Awaz terminated in 2008, leaving an unpaid debt of Rs 90 crore approximately. Second, on November 23, 2010, Young Indian Pvt Ltd (hereafter Young Indian) was incorporated with a paid up capital of just Rs 5 lakh under Section 25 of the Companies Act, in which Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi owned 38 per cent shares each (or jointly 76 per cent).

Third, in December 2010, the Board of Directors of Young Indian passed a resolution to “own” the outstanding debt of the AJL, and obtained an unsecured zero interest loan from the Congress for equivalent amount to liquidate the said debt. Sonia Gandhi was then Congress president, Rahul Gandhi general secretary, and Motilal Vora party treasurer and CMD of AJL.

Fourth, the AJL held a board meeting and declared that it could not discharge the debt to Congress. It resolved without reference to and approval of the shareholders that Young Indian would own its debt, and for Rs. 50 lakhs its entire share equity would be transferred to Young Indian. Thus AJL became a wholly owned company of Young Indian.

Fifth, the accused wrote off the loan obtained from the party as irrecoverable.

Sixth, the AJL Balance Sheet shows that it had real estate assets of at least Rs 2000 crore (possibly Rs 5,000 crore), in Delhi, Lucknow, Bhopal, Indore, Mumbai, Panchkula, Patna and other yet identified places. These were provided by various Union and State Governments after 1947 for facilitating newspaper printing, and publishing.

Seventh, after taken possession of this vast real estate, Young Indian declared that according to its objectives submitted for obtaining registration under section 25 of the Companies Act, 1956 it will not engage in publishing newspapers, including the National Herald.

Eighth, National Herald House in New Delhi has been rented and Young Indian receives at least Rs. 60 lakhs/month for space made available.

In his petition Swamy contends that National Herald was not owned by the Nehru family, but the general public, particularly those who joined the freedom movement, contributed most of the share capital. Hence, Young Indian had no right to appropriate 99 per cent of AJL shares with funds from the Congress.

When National Herald closed down in 2008, the Congress gave AJL an interest-free loan to pay off the employees’ terminal compensation. That Congress was funding the paper was admitted in the editorial by editor TV Venkitachalam on April 1, 2008 when the paper appeared last: “The paper is part of Nehru’s legacy and has continued to uphold the traditions of secularism and non-alignment and I hope the Congress will not allow it to close down finally.”

With closure, AJL continued to hold valuable properties and owed only Rs 90 crore to the Congress; it had very little other liability. This real estate could pay off the loan and give huge benefits to the thousand plus shareholders who contributed roughly Rs 89 lakh to AJL’s capital at various times.

The constitution of the Congress provides in Art XIX (i) that the “Working Committee shall constitute a Trust for holding immoveable properties belonging to the All India Congress Committee” under the chairmanship of the party president, and with the treasurer and general secretary in-charge of administration as ex-officio members. Yet AJL shares were taken over by Young Indian, a company whose main beneficiaries are the party president and vice president. The party treasurer is not an appointed post as per the constitution, but an appointee of the president. He played a critical role in the entire episode and owns 12 per cent share in Young Indian. Oscar Fernandes was made a director of AJL on June 17, 2010. He also owns 12 per cent share in Young Indian.

Suman Dubey and Sam Pitroda are close associates of the party president and promoters of Young Indian. Both were made directors of AJL on November 21, 2010.

AJL director since June 19, 2000, Vishwa Bandhu Gupta, resigned suddenly or was asked to resign on February 4, 2011, just before AJL converted the Rs 90.25 crore loan due to the Congress into equity shares by which control of AJL passed into the hands of Young Indian. The latter’s first Annual report (April 27, 2012), states that it “is engaged in activities to inculcate in the mind of India’s youth commitment to the ideals of democratic and secular society”. At the same time, the Annual Report of AJL says it is recasting “its activities” to align with Young Indian’s “main objects”, which suggests the intention to merge AJL into Young Indian.

All in all, an unedifying story.

Disclaimer: Opinions expressed in this article are the author's personal opinions. Information, facts or opinions shared by the Author do not reflect the views of Niti Central and Niti Central is not responsible or liable for the same. The Author is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

  • Vivek Achar


    Shame on these congies

    • ReddyInf


  • Abhishek Mittal

    The one army & crusador has done it again. Cheers to him. and shame on the largest nationalist opposition party & it’s D4 gang for not learning their lessons. Democracy has been reduced to a joke.

    Thanks to individual efforts of some long term thinking people,Bharat is putting up a credible resistance to Dynasty Mafia,whose agenda is to loot & divide this culturally great country.

  • nirguna

    Yesterday Complete black out of Dr Swamy name in same website relating to Italian marines case. Now compensating!

    Nevertheless, something is better than nothing. Needless to say, Congress plunder is equal to gaddafi. we are lucky to have inner garments. by 2016, it wil be case of emperor has no clothes for superpower India.

    • Madhukar

      Are you a Swamy fanatic? The article on the Italian Marines was on the judiciary and had nothing to do with Swamy’s petition on the issue. That was not mentioned and so there was no cause to mention Swamy. Try to be pertinent when making comments on any issue.

      • ARUN

        Mr.Madhu,it is you who need to go thru details before rubbishing others, ,If u still say he was in no way involved for the decision given,kindly justify urself.

      • V Dev

        “The Supreme Court on Thursday issued notice to the Italian ambassador Daniele Mancini from leaving India till further order, in a response to public-interest litigation (PIL) earlier filed by Janata Party chief and advocate Subramanian Swamy.”

  • Raman

    I do not disagree with the views expressed in this article.

    Mine is just a comment on Subramaniam Swamy overall. He is a maverick, an opportunist and a pathological attention seeker. I doubt he is genuine. He lacks a political base and is unelectable. He has at different times made wild accusations and appears to seek the media spotlight. I am not sure who pays for all his forays, his litigation, his travels to Beijing, Washington and Colombo. He seems odd.

    This is not to defend Sonia Gandhi or Rahul. The issues are separate. But the BJP should never have the likes of a Subramaniam Swamy in its fold. He simply can not be trusted.

    • Anil

      You are probably saying this because Swamy was against LTTE.He said that we are Indians first and Tamils second.As a Tamilian, you don’t trust him, but as an Indian,we trust him.

    • Ravishanker M

      Let us all bend our spine before the Goddess Sonia and plead her son to lead this country. I don’t know under what circumstance your are saying Subramanian Swamy is non-trust worthy. Whatever it may be Swamy needs credit for taking the mighty, while majority of politicians, including from BJP keep Omerta code of silence on Nehru-Gandhi dynasty. Very few from BJP has guts to criticize Sonia Gandhi, the fountain head of corruption in India, for the past two decades.

    • Pratik

      He is not in the BJP, get your facts right. Anyone who asks difficult questions is going to be termed as a maverick and as time passes, people like you will start thinking about conspiracies, sabotage, etc.

      Get over it, at least someone is asking the right questions !

    • Hindu

      Why he can not be trusted?

      Have you done anything for the nation?

      Any activity needs resources! Let him go wherever he wants to, as far as he does not use tax payers money.

    • SNA

      I bet MMS’s left te$tical (if he has one), that u r either NangayJha or Pigvijay or an offspring of both.

    • V Dev

      You may hold on to your views on Swamy, that is your right. However, please enlighten what is wrong on facts mentioned in the article. And without substance, would a court admit a petition?

  • shiv

    “Mine is just a comment on Subramaniam Swamy overall. He is a maverick, an opportunist and a pathological attention seeker. I doubt he is genuine.” – You have an horse arse to know what is going on.
    Hey raman, you are an idiot and living in fool’s paradise.MSM has blackened out all the crusades of DrSwamy, if you are a part of social media, you will know what is going on.An idiot should first observe and learn what is going on instead of farting.

  • Panduranghari

    Is this fraud perpetrated by congress considered anti national activity? I hope so because Maino will loose Indian citizenship

  • Anup Nair


    The case of Swamy is pathetic. For a person of his stature & intelligence he is too petty minded. He is driven by retribution more than anything else in his political battles. That public interest gets served in the course of his fights is only incidental.

    He constantly berates Chidambaram for making ill use of his talent to loot public money. But he himself does not seem to understand that he himself isn’t doing too well with his own talent.

    Great article by Sandhya Jain detailing the AJL grab!

  • Anup Nair

    I meant Swamy is driven by vindictiveness rather than retribution.

  • Rajalakshmi

    Subramaniam Swamy is an asset.He boldly exposed EVM tampering in Tamil Nadu.
    Agreed in certain issues there might be differences of opinions. So what??

    One does not throw the baby along with bath water.

  • Rajalakshmi

    Certain crafty Indians have managed to ride rough shod over gullible & meek HINDUS of India sporting degrees from Harvard & London School of Economics.Prannoy Roy is from London School of Economics. Romila Thapars & Arundathi Roys all feted abroad as they are full of anti VEDIC diatribe.

    Hence we should feel grateful we have Subramaniam Swamy , Cho Ramaswamy & Jayalalithaa & Swami Dayananda of Arsha Vidya who are equally articulate in English & much more KNOWLEDGEABLE.

    In a show on Vijay Tv there were these Indian allopaths & surgeons typical supercilious we- know- everything upstarts armed with some jargon & English language were putting down Hindu women on the other side. Thank God for some Hindu Gentleman sitting on their side equally articulate in English & medicine ( Herbal , Siddha , Ayurvedic including Latin names etc etc ) who with remarkable & enviable panache rebutted the allopaths word for word.

    I have understood these allopaths. Their contention is ” we alone have the right to dupe , cause deaths & make dare others question us …we have spent so much on capitation fees & bribes to gain entry into medical colleges & go abroad…how else do we recover all the money spent unless we operate & remove all organs and keep manufacturing diseases & dependency on us “

  • Anup Nair

    He sure is an asset; an unreliable and crackpot one. Going by your comments on other posts, you seem to be a hardcore Hindutva believer and hence I bring this point up (see the link below) to underline Swamy’s unreliability and politics of vindictiveness. Don’t forget Swamy’s cooperation with Sonia in those days (by design or accident) has in some ways helped her consolidate her grip over the Congress party.

  • M. Lakshminath

    Subra anima Swamy catches the attention of Public whether it is emergency or otherwise. During emergency he has taken mighty Indira Gandhi and gone underground later on he floated into USA when he was 38 years younger. Now he is taking on young Rahul Gandhi and his mother he better take precautions before another emergency like situatin arises and the nation is clamped by vicious forces.

  • Panduranghari

    @Rajlakshmi Have you wondered why bengalis are over represented among Induans in London school of economics?

    Indian institute of statistics based in calcutta publishes entrance exam dates only in Local bangka newspaper. No chance for ither people getting a shot at this exam. (Raj thackrey are you reading this?) Overwhelmingly the left keaning tendency of bengalis who suffer from a difference anxiety from below produces a economist who leans keft belieces in sops and subscribes to views if his white masters. India has long suffered. Had brits separated bengal altogether into a different country in 1905, we would have been better off. Seems bengal will soon be a part of terrorist islamic republic of bangladesh.

    • Rajalakshmi

      You do have a point. I grew up in Calcutta & there was always an overt anti Tamilian ( they call us madrazis) militancy. Things are better now. As bengali landlords always preferred to have only south indians as tenants. They recoiled from their own bengalis. Who were always politically connected & unionised thus actively strikes hartals prone & rebellious.

      Kerala does not allow a single non keralite admission into its Homeopathy College in Calicut. Kerala is very possessive & protective about its greenery & environment. BUT have purchased lot of land & properties in TAMIL NADU. The heroines from Kerala lord over kollywood cavorting on all greenery & polluting water bodies.All rice , vegetables , bananas , cattle,pregnant cows & calves -ALL get smuggled from Tamil Nadu into Kerala & from there to Bangladesh. Only because of THUGS infested DMK.

    • Rajalakshmi

      During Durga Pujas Bengalis become very violent collecting “chanda” free cash extortions from all.South Indians are always targetted as we don’t celebrate Pujas this way playing film songs in loud decibles, wearing new clothes each day & go gallivanting around eating , eating and eating.

      Lot of violence gets unleashed by the bengali para mastans /mafia.Those refusing to cough up the amount demanded have their houses burgled & harassed in many ways. Businessmen like Marwaris also face their ire.Most of them are not hard working like Biharis & others. They cigarette away discussing Marxism , revolutions , Rabindranath Tagore , Leninism & are very fond of phrases like “sanguinary approach..legally you are right but…”

      Hence are hostile towards the diligent & industrious. Many non Bengali businessmen while recruiting specify ” clock watchers need not apply”.

    • Rajalakshmi

      But I like many Bengalis for various reasons. They make fine Homeopaths.
      Those of Tamil Nadu fail miserably. Bengalis have it in them. They are very warm & hospitable. I like Uttam Kumar very much. And Hemanta Mukherjee.
      There are many laudable qualities in Bengalis.

    • Sayan Sen

      Dear friends, Bengalis get admitted to LSE because they eat fish :) and because till now, a fish-eating cigarette-smoking leftist (if not Marxist) Bengali, Amartya Sen is the ONLY economics nobel laureate from India. BTW, this website (NitiCentral) is also founded and run by a Bengali, Kanchan Gupta.:P. The first president of Indian National Congress was a Bengali, W.C. Bonnerjee. The founders of CPI (Indian Left) were Bengalis. The founder of Hindu Mahasabha and Jan Sangh (BJP’s parent party) was a Bengali, Dr. S.P. Mukherjee. The biggest intellectuals of Indian Left are Bengalis (as you all know). The biggest intellectuals of Indian Right are also a Bengali trio (suroprise :)), Swapan Dasgupta, Chandan Mitra and Kanchan Gupta. From Bollywood to Kollywood, our girls rule. :) The first woman CM in India was a Bengali (Sucheta Kripalani nee Roy, CM of UP). The first woman mayor in an Indian metro was a Bengali (Aruna Asaf Ali nee Roy, Mayor of Delhi). The first woman governor in India was a Bengali, (Sarojini Naidu nee Chattopadhyay). Kolkata is the only city in India to get Nobel Prizes from Literature to Peace to Economics and also a Lifetime Achievement Oscar. (Chennai or Tamil Nadu got Nobel Prizes but only in sciences and till now no oscar. And other states don’t even count :P). The Oscar committee came to Kolkata to award it to a Bengali, Satyajit Ray. Even a sub-atomic particle is named after a Bengali, “boson” after S.N.Bose. A Bengali, J.C. Bose invented the radio before Marconi. What is Hindutva without a Bengali monk, Swami Vivekananda? And I forgot Tagore. :)You need to eat fish, smoke cigarettes and also read Marx. :)

  • DR.S.H.Sharma

    The count down has started for Sonia -Raul- Rahul– Bianca- Friyanka-Vadra loot of Hindusthan .
    Their passports must be collected by GOI before they disappear to land of Mussolini.

  • Rajalakshmi

    Ah ! Labelling once again “hard core” “Hindutva” blah blah. As though you have made your point & can rest beaming from ear to ear.

    That way both BJP & congress have never hesitated to join hands with leftists & DMK. Do you seriously believe all of them have strong convictions? I prefer Subramaniam Swamy as he has taken a forthright stand on Sri.Ram Sethu.

    Whereas P.Chidambarams & congressis , anti Ram DMK & some in BJP , many qualified engineers etc would always refer to Sri.Ram’s Sethu as just matter sand , stone , soil , rocks ….Omar Abdullah contemptuously referred to Amarnath Lord Siva as “just a block of ice”. Whereas some squiggles . scribbles & streptococci would make them all go murderous that gets labelled “cartoon riots” & justified. Converted christians of India do not consider HINDUS’ Ram & Krishna Avatara Purushas.

    Give me HINDUTVA – the HARD CORE version please.

  • Rajalakshmi

    To “consolidate their grip over congress party & India” Sonia Dynasty does not necessarily require Swamy. You are overestimating his clout.

  • Rajalakshmi

    That way L.K.Advani was exchanging greetings & frantically enquiring about the well being & health of Benazir Bhutto. Sindhi affinity.

    India & Pakistan have always been playing cricket. India has FREE quotas for students from Afghanistan , Ethiopia, Somalia etc etc in various colleges but forbids entry to many HINDUS labelling them “forward community”.

    No other country is such a secooolar CADAVER.

  • drgautam

    In our capacity as a ciizen of the largest democracy,it has become a habit of ours to come across these types of news daily,as also to lose track of the same as some moreinteresting ones come up!

  • http://niticentral prasad

    I am appalled at the level of debate here.
    some people think whatever Dr. swamy does he
    must have some selfish motivation. If you can’t
    see enormous contribution he made to Indian society,
    Only God save India. No wonder India is not taken
    Just to name a few

    1. Fight against Emergency

    2. Save India from Embarassment of sonia’s prime

    3 . Save Rama Sethu

    4. 2G Scam

    5. Now National Herald scam

    These are just a few of the battles
    he fought for Indian people.

  • M. Lakshminath

    WhenPVwas thePM from 1991-1996 we have not heard of Sonia at all , she was kept in the back burner. Now from 2004 she kept a front of an imbecile PM who disowns all his actions under pressure, he does not remember whether he has seen the file or not, he questions the authority of a constitutional head of CAG, he even has the temerity to belittle subtly his findings. Sooner or later he will go home and cry on his wife’s shoulder about his mistake of accepting a front post without any power. He thought that by accepting the post his stature will improve being a world renowned economist, but Infact he incurred a loss of 3,00,000 crores or more loss to the nation from 2004-2009 only , more damages will come out when the next Government will take up the reins in the ensuing months.

  • Anup Nair

    Yes, Prasad. You should be appalled at the level of debate here because it challenges your blind belief that Swamy is a saviour of Hindus and India which many believe has been destroyed by Sonia Gandhi. Except point #1 (for which I am deeply grateful to him), rest of his contributions are an outcome of his antipathy to Sonia Gandhi and his recent affinity to RSS & its leaders. I say recent since just over a decade, he was quite anti RSS and he was instrumental in pulling down the first BJP government by being on the same side as Sonia Gandhi.

    You may want to indulge in blind hero worship but I like to call things the way I see it. The point is all politicians with very very very few exceptions are the scums of the earth; one has to be clear eyed about who are the exceptions. Swamy is definitely one of them but one has to see him for what he is; mostly a petty minded egoistic and opportunitistic individual. If any one of the politicians were really serious about not raping, looting India and its people or stopping others from doing the same , we would be living in a sane, gentler, kind, fair society.

  • Anup Nair

    Another instance (as I discovered just now)of Swamy’s opportunism & his penchant for singing different tunes is as below:

    Till about mid of last year, Swamy wanted Modi to go seek help from him by way of his tweets. Then, suddenly within the span of 6 months, he became pro Modi for reasons best known to him.

    Watch this Youtube link where he says that the Nehru family is jealous of great leaders from Gujarat giving examples of Patel, Morarji Desai and now Modi. In the case of Morarji Desai he blames Indira Gandhi. Unfortunately for him he forgot that he said the following in his autobiography that was serialised in the Tamil weekly Kumudham.

    “Though Charan Singh got a bad name for pulling down the Morarji government, the real culprits are Vajpayee and Ramakrishna Hegde. They deliberately engineered a duel between Charan Singh and Morarji and in the process pushed down Morarji. It was Vajpayee and Hegde who met the president with the letter claiming support of 279 MPs. Out of this 23 MPs’ signatures were forged. Investigative agencies alerted the president and he made it public. A shocked Morarji resigned and withdrew from the public life. In fact, on that day Hegde and Vajpayee should have quit public life.”

    • Ankur Sethi

      What does that have to do with the land grab?

  • Jitendra Desai

    BJP should declare that if voted to power, it will take over all the assets of this organistion,auction them off to highest bidders,pay off this loan from Congress and deposit balance amnt [ could run in to several thousand crores] with national exchequer.