Amid an ongoing legal battle in a Delhi court involving Congress president Sonia Gandhi and party vice-president Rahul Gandhi, the Associated Journals Ltd which used to publish the now-defunct National Herald, announced on January 21 that it will cease to be a commercial entity and become a non-profit. Its shareholders also decided to relaunch its newspapers.
The legal battle involving National Herald began in 2012 when economist and BJP leader Subramanian Swamy filed a complaint against Congress Party Sonia Gandhi and party vice-president Rahul Gandhi for committing fraud and covertly acquiring Associated Journals Ltd owner of the National Herald newspaper.
As per the complaint filed in the court of the Metropolitan Magistrate, Indian National Congress granted an interest-free loan of 90 crore rupees to Associated Journals Limited. It was alleged that the loan was either not repaid or repaid in cash, which is in violation of Section 269T of the Income Tax Act. A closely held company, Young Indian, was incorporated in November 2010 with a capital of 5 lakh rupees and it acquired almost all the shareholding of Associated Journal and all its properties which are alleged to be worth 5000 crore rupees. Swamy alleged criminal misappropriation by both Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi.