The Delhi court which is hearing BJP leader Subramanian Swamy’s complaint in the case accepted the Congress President and Vice-President’s plea for exemption from personal appearance on Tuesday.
A battery of senior lawyers led by Abhishek Manu Singhvi appeared in the Patiala House court on behalf of Sonia, Rahul Gandhi and other co-accused. They filed separate pleas seeking exemption from personal appearance for Tuesday.
The 2 top Congress leaders’ lawyers told the court that they want to appear before it on another date.While granting exemption..the magistrate told the defence lawyers to ensure that all the accused appear before the court on the next date.
Tuesday’s events in the lower court were precipitated by the Delhi High Court dismissing Sonia and Rahul Gandhi’s pleas for quashing of the lower court’s summons in the Herald case on Monday.
Apart from the 2 top Congress honchos, the 5 other co-accused in the case are Motilal Vora, Oscar Fernandes, Suman Dubey, Sam Pitroda and Young India Limited. All the accused were originally summoned by the court in the herald case on the 26th of June last year.
The case relates to accusations of conspiring to grab over 2,000 crore rupees property owned by the National Herald newspaper’s holding company Associated Journal Limited.
Subramanian Swamy has alleged that first the Congress party illegally extended a loan to the loss making company that owned National Herald. It then transferred the ownership of the company to Young India Limited where Sonia and Rahul Gandhi have 76% stake with the rest held by the other accused. Swamy has also alleged the use of hawala channels in the entire transaction.
The high court had made damning observations in the matter on Monday saying it ”evidences a criminal intent” as main persons in the Congress and the two companies are same. Clearly, the National Herald case has emerged as the most serious setback for the Congress ever since it lost the 2014 general elections.