Ashish Lata Ramgobin, Mahatma Gandhi's great-granddaughter, has been sentenced to seven years in jail by a South African court in a 6-million-rand cheating case. According to a report, Lata Ramgobin, 56, was pronounced guilty of defrauding industrialist SR Maharaj, who had paid 62,00,000 rands (around £330,000) to her to clear the custom and import duties of a consignment from India that never arrived. He had been promised a cut in the profit for extending the financial help.
Lata is the daughter of activists Ela Gandhi and late Mewa Ramgobind. In 2015, during the trial, Brigadier Hangwani Mulaudzi of the National Prosecuting Authority had said Lata had forged fake receipts and documents to prove that the containers carrying linen were arriving in South Africa from India.
The court had granted her bail on a 50,000-rand surety. Maharaj's company, New Africa Alliance Footwear, deals with the export, manufacturing and sale of clothes, linen and shoes. It also provides financial help to companies. The court was informed that Lata had met Maharaj in August 2015 and had told him that she had ordered three linen containers from India for the South African hospital group, Netcare. She had also entered a contract with Maharaj. Maharaj had filed a police complaint after he came to know that the shipment was not arriving in South Africa.