Gandhis seek early hearing of plea in Herald case

Gandhis seek early hearing of plea in Herald case

Congress president Sonia Gandhi and her son Rahul Gandhi on Thursday urged the Supreme Court to consider their plea on February 12 for quashing the criminal complaint filed by BJP leader Subramanian Swamy.

A bench of Chief Justice T S Thakur and Justice R Banumathi said they will look into it on Friday when the appeal filed by top Congress leaders including those by Motilal Vora, Suman Dubey and Sam Pitroda will come up for hearing.

Senior advocate Kapil Sibal mentioned the matter before the court, saying Swamy has informed him about his unavailability till Februrary 19, but the matter should not be adjourned as the next date of hearing in the trial court has been fixed on February 20.

In case the SC adjourned the hearing due to absence of Swamy and did not grant any interim relief, the Gandhis and other co-accused would have to appear again before the magisterial court here on February 20.

In their special leave petitions, the Congress leaders also sought direction to set aside December 7 order of the Delhi HC directing them to face the criminal prosecution for the offences of cheating, breach of trust, misappropriation of funds and criminal conspiracy in the acquisition of Associated Journals Limited, the publisher of National Herald, by a company called Young Indian Limited, in which the Gandhis hold 76 per cent shares.

The circulation and financial health of the National Herald, started in 1938 by Jawaharlal Nehru, steadily deteriorated over decades, leading to its closure in 2008.

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