Sonia, Rahul get relief in National Herald case

Sonia, Rahul get relief in National Herald case

In a reprieve for Congress president Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi and others, the Delhi High Court on Wednesday stayed till August 13 the criminal proceedings before a trial court against them in a case relating to acquisition of National Herald, a daily.

“Renotify the matters on August 13. Till that time, the impugned order dated June 26, 2014 of the trial court against the accused shall remain stayed,” Justice V P Vaish said.

The stay has come as a relief to Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi and others, including Congress treasurer Moti Lal Vora, General Secretary Oscar Fernandes, Sam Pitroda and Suman Dubey, who were earlier asked to appear before a trial court on Thursday.

The court’s order came after senior lawyers Kapil Sibal, A M Singhvi and Harin Raval, appearing for Sonia, Rahul and Vora respectively, concluded their arguments with the plea that the complaint and summons be quashed as the trial court order was “erroneous” on fact and law.

The Congress leaders have challenged a lower court’s summoning orders against them on a complaint of BJP leader Subramanian Swamy alleging cheating and misappropriation of funds in the acquisition of the daily by Young Indian (YI).

Pitroda is the only accused who, so far, has not moved the high court as the summons has not been served on him.

Besides Gandhis, Vora is among the directors of Young India who were recently given almost 99 per cent ordinary shares of the Associated Journals Limited (AJL). AJL had been publishing newspapers “National Herald” in English, “Navjivan” in Hindi and “Quami Awaz” in Urdu.

Sibal and Singhvi, during the arguments, challenged the “locus” of Swamy in filing the complaint saying that the offence of cheating and criminal breach of trust are “compoundable” in nature and it is not the case that the BJP leader is a victim of these alleged crimes.

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