NEW DELHI: BJP leader Subramanian Swamy and Congress president Rahul Gandhi today accused each other in a Delhi court of wasting its time and delaying the trial in the National Herald case.
Complainant Swamy and the accused, including Rahul Gandhi and his mother Sonia Gandhi, traded charges before Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Samar Vishal who was hearing arguments on applications moved by the BJP MP seeking certain documents from the Congress party.
Swamy has also filed certain documents in the case and sought a direction to the Gandhis to either admit or deny whether they were original.
The BJP leader, in a private criminal complaint, has accused the Gandhis and others of conspiring to cheat and misappropriate funds by paying just Rs 50 lakh, through which Young Indian Pvt Ltd (YI) obtained the right to recover Rs 90.
25 crore that Associate Journals Ltd owed to the Congress.
"They (Gandhis) had submitted various documents in the Supreme Court. Now, I am asking them to confront the documents (in this court). The accused should stop wasting the court's time and either admit or deny these documents," Swamy said.
The advocates appearing for the Gandhis, however, told the court that Swamy was wasting its time and delaying the trial by filing "unauthenticated documents" in the case.
"The applications filed by the complainant are not proper. The documents which the complainant wants to be confronted are neither original, nor certified. The court cannot even look at them.
"Every time when the complainant has to step into the witness box, he files a new application. Further, he wants summoning of documents but where are the witnesses who will authenticate them? We will admit or deny the original documents, not the photocopies. All these documents have been moved with the purpose to delay the trial and they must be dismissed," the defence counsel said.
Regarding Swamy's submissions that he had found certain documents related to the Income Tax department, lying along with newspapers at his doorstep, senior advocate Ramesh Gupta, appearing for some of the accused persons, quipped that it showed the breach in his security.
"This is the situation. He (Swamy) is a Z-plus security holder and nobody is able to protect his house. Anyone can come and throw something," Gupta said.
Swamy has filed an application alleging that according to the documents found by him, the I-T department had launched a probe against the accused, also involving YI, after taking note of his complaint in the case.
The Gandhis are major stakeholders in YI.
The court later posted the matter for further hearing on May 14.
All the seven accused - the Gandhis, Motilal Vora (AICC treasurer), Oscar Fernandes (AICC general secretary), Suman Dubey, Sam Pitroda and YI - have denied the allegations levelled against them in the case.
The court had summoned the accused persons, besides YI, on June 26, 2014.
On December 19, 2015, it had granted bail to Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi, Vora, Fernandes and Dubey, who had appeared before it pursuant to the summonses.
Pitroda was granted bail on February 20, 2016 when he had appeared in the court.
Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi, Vora, Fernandes, Dubey and Pitroda were summoned for the alleged offences of misappropriation of property, criminal breach of trust and cheating, read with a criminal conspiracy of the Indian Penal Code.