The returning officer (RO) of Amethi Lok Sabha constituency has held that the complaint, lodged by Janata Party president Subramanian Swamy accusing Congress general secretary and local MP Rahul Gandhi of furnishing a false affidavit on his assets in the 2009 Lok Sabha elections, was “inadmissible”.
The Election Commission had directed the RO to take appropriate action on the complaint.
Sources said Sultanpur Additional District Magistrate Arvind Kumar Pandey, who was the RO, had informed the commission that he could not admit the complaint because it was filed after the expiry of the permissible time period of one year after the submission of the affidavit.
The RO has mentioned that Section 468 of the CrPC puts a bar on taking cognizance of a complaint after the lapse of the period of limitation. One year is the period of limitation for complaints of offences punishable with imprisonment of a term not exceeding one year, sources said, adding that the punishment for filing a false affidavit is less than a year.
Rahul Gandhi had filed the affidavit on his assets and liabilities on April 4, 2009 whereas Swamy lodged his complaint on October 31, 2012, after more than three years. The sources said the RO has stated that since the complaint had been lodged more than one year after the affidavit has submitted, the matter is out of his jurisdiction.
When contacted, Pandey refused to discuss the matter. UP’s Chief Electoral Officer Umesh Sinha confirmed that his office had received the “RO’s reply and it has been forwarded to the Election Commission to take further decision in the matter”.
In his representation to the EC, Swamy had alleged that Rahul Gandhi wrongly stated in his 2009 affidavit that he had no shares and debentures in companies. “According to the list of shareholders of the Associated Journals Ltd. (owners of National Herald and Qaumi Awaz newspapers) as on September 30, 2008, submitted to Registrar of Companies (RoC), Rahul Gandhi holds more than three lakh shares in the company,” Swamy alleged.
Further, Swamy’s representation said, “The latest list of shareholders of 2011 of The Associated Journals submitted to RoC states that Rahul Gandhi is still a shareholder in the company. In 2011 list of shareholders, Rahul Gandhi’s 2,62,411 shares were transferred to Priyanka Gandhi, while he retains 47,513 shares in his name.”
Swamy alleged Rahul had not declared his three lakh shares in the company in his affidavit on