Sonia, Rahul get breather in Herald case

Sonia, Rahul get breather in Herald case

Congress president Sonia Gandhi and vice-president Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday got breather from a Delhi court which granted them exemption from appearance before it in the National Herald case.

The court, however, directed both the leaders and others to appear before it on December 19 in the complaint case filed by BJP leader Subramanian Swamy.

A day after rejection of their challenge to the summons by the Delhi High Court, Congress leaders and other party functionaries like Motilal Vora, Oscar Fernandez, Suman Dubey and Sam Pitroda were expected to approach the apex court as per the declaration by their counsel but instead they preferred to approach the trial court in the morning.

Senior advocate Abhishek M Singhvi, appearing for the top leaders, submitted before Metropolitan Magistrate Lovleen that they were keen to appear before the court but could not do so due to prior engagements.

“Please give us a date of your choice and that of the convenience of Dr Subramanian Swamy,” he submitted. Swamy, on his part, submitted that there are seven accused in the case and date was fixed in September itself for their appearance.

He pointed out: “Accused number 2 (Rahul Gandhi) has left for Chennai this morning.”
The metropolitan magistrate told the counsel for all the accused to appear before the court on the next date of hearing on December 19.

“Make sure that all the accused appear on December 19. I am giving exemption from personal appearance only for today. Don’t come in the morning on December 19. You come at 3 pm,” the magistrate said.

During the brief hearing, the court asked the counsel if the HC’s judgment was available on the net.

Swamy furnished the copy of the verdict. The trial court had on June 26, 2014, issued summons against Sonia, Rahul, Vora, Fernandez, Dubey and Pitroda in the case.

The Delhi HC, which had earlier stayed the summons, on Monday rejected their plea. It had said the ingredients of the offences are not lacking and sufficient grounds to proceed against petitioners did certainly exist.

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