Indian Congress president ordered to appear in court

New Delhi, December 7

The Delhi High Court ordered the torchbearers of the Nehru-Gandhi political dynasty to appear in court over alleged misuse of party funds.

Sonia Gandhi, president of the opposition Congress party, and her son, Rahul, face accusations they used $13.5 million of party funds to pay debts accrued by a newspaper business. Plaintiffs say the transaction benefited a not-for-profit company they own.

The Gandhis deny any wrongdoing. A spokesman for their Congress party, Abhishek Manu Singhvi, who is also a lawyer representing the Gandhis, said they would challenge the order legally, a move that will likely take the case to the Supreme Court.

Rahul Gandhi is the great-grandson of India’s first prime minister, Jawaharlal Nehru. Members of the family have led India for most of its post-independence era since 1947.

The case against the family was brought by Subramanian Swamy, an activist lawyer who is a vocal member of Modi’s ruling party. The mother-son duo will need to appear in a district court in the capital tomorrow, Swamy told reporters.

A lower court first summoned the Gandhis in June last year. Today, the Delhi High Court rejected their plea to exempt them from a personal appearance, another of their lawyers said.