Congress today dismissed as "purely motivated, malicious and mischievous" the petition of BJP leader Subramanian Swamy against party chief Sonia Gandhi and Vice President Rahul Gandhi and said it would not be cowed down by such "revengeful witch-hunts".
"Swamy and the BJP must understand that neither the Nehru-Gandhi family nor Indian National Congress will get cowed down by such revengeful witch-hunts.
"We have not received any summons so far. Congress Party and Congress leaders will take appropriate action after taking necessary legal advice on receipt of any such summons," party spokesman Randeep Surjewala said.
His reaction came close on the heels of reports that Sonia and Rahul were today summoned by a local court as accused in a criminal complaint lodged by Swamy for alleged cheating and misappropriation of funds in acquiring ownership of now defunct daily National Herald.
Metropolitan Magistrate Gomati Manocha issued summons to Sonia and Rahul Gandhi besides AICC Treasurer Moti Lal Vora, General Secretary Oscar Fernandes, and Suman Dubey and Sam Pitroda, the other directors of Young Indian Ltd (YI), a company that was incorporated in 2010 and which took over the "debt" of Associated Journals Ltd (AJL), the publisher of National Herald.
Swamy had accused Sonia and Rahul Gandhi and others of conspiring to cheat and misappropriate funds by just paying Rs 50 lakh by which YI obtained the right to recover Rs 90.25 crore which the AJL had owed to the Congress party.
n a statement in Chennai, another party spokesman and senior advocate Abhishek Singhvi dubbed the complaint as "false, baseless and motivated."
Noting that the complaint appears to be almost one year old, he said that mere process/summons has been issued and no adjudication and no determination has occurred.
"Swamy's propensity for sensationalism and visceral antipathy to the Congress is well known. This makes it a clearly politically motivated complaint," Singhvi said.
He said as and when the process is received, and after appropriate legal consultation, a detailed comprehensive and point by point response would be made.
"The response will conclusively demonstrate that falsehoods and distortions are the basis of the complaint. It will be established that even if the complaint as drafted is taken at face value, it does not disclose any offence whatsoever and ought to be rejected/quashed at the threshold," he said, adding "we will speak on the merits through our response and not through the media."