[dropcap color=”#008040″ boxed=”yes” boxed_radius=”8px” class=”” id=””]T[/dropcap]he Metropolitan Magistrate on Monday dismissed BJP leader Subramanian Swamy’s petition to seek documents from government departments and the Congress in the National Herald case. However, the Court asked Swamy to file the list of witnesses and gave him opportunity to file “appropriate” petition for summoning documents again during the trial, while terming his dismissed petition as “fishing inquiry” and trying to widen the scope of the case.
“In the interests of justice, last opportunity is granted to the complainant to file the list of witnesses as undertaking by him previously and also to move appropriate application for summoning of records, if he so desires,” said the Order issued by Metropolitan Magistrate Lovleen. According to this one page order on Monday’s proceedings, Swamy has to submit reasons for each document he seeks during the trial.
Swamy has sought more than 100 documents from the Income Tax department, Registrar of Companies, Congress and National Herald publisher Associated Journals Limited (AJL). The 24 page Order, observed that Swamy “seemed to enlarge the scope of present proceedings”. Swamy termed this order as “perverse” one and said he will appeal.
“In these circumstances, the prayer of the complainant is nothing but a fishing enquiry which is not permitted under the law. This court feels that by seeking the above documents the complainant seems to enlarge scope of present proceedings,” the court said.
“At the very outset, this court must observe that by using the terms ‘verify’/’see’/’investigate’ (in application) the complainant (Swamy) admits that he himself is not aware of the contents of the said documents,” said the order rejecting Swamy’s demand for several documents of Congress party including the demand for Congress Working Committee’s (CWC) resolutions for approving loan to AJL. It is a fact that there was no such CWC resolution and Swamy’s was trying to test the waters.
[dropcap color=”#008040″ boxed=”yes” boxed_radius=”8px” class=”” id=””]T[/dropcap]he court also said that most of the documents sought “do not seem relevant in view of context of present allegations” and “do not seem to be connected to the facts required to be proved by the complainant”.
The Magistrate has asked Swamy to provide a list of witnesses by February 10, the next hearing of the case.
Congress’s main objection was to seek the party’s balance sheet and accounts during scam period (2010-2011) when the new company Young Indian was floated by Sonia and Rahul and payments of Rs.90 crore was given from party to AJL.
The Magistrate has asked Swamy to provide a list of witnesses by February 10, the next hearing of the case. The pre-charge evidences will start on this day and Swamy is supposed to file the list of witnesses and revised petition for specific documents.
The court also said that most of the documents sought “do not seem relevant in view of context of present allegations” and “do not seem to be connected to the facts required to be proved by the complainant”. It said that a few documents which seemed to be relevant, could not be ordered to be summoned as those were “to be contemporaneous with the examination of prosecution witnesses. In the present case the complainant has not even placed a list of witnesses, whom he proposes to examine in pre-charge stage. So the prayer made by the complainant for summoning the documents from Congress and AJL has to be rejected”.
Earlier in January, the trial court had ordered for summoning of documents from government departments and the Congress. Congress leaders Motilal Vora and Oscar Fernandes challenged this decision in the Delhi High Court. The High Court had quashed the trial court’s order, citing the error in procedure for not seeking reply from the accused.
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