NEW DELHI: A day after the Delhi High Court dismissed the plea of Congress president Sonia Gandhi and her son Rahul Gandhi and others for quashing of summons in the National Herald case, a Delhi court on Tuesday gave them exemption from personal appearance for a day but directed them to be present on December 19 when the case will be heard.
Senior advocates Abhishek Manu Singhvi, Harin Raval and Ramesh Gupta appeared for the Gandhis and the other accused and moved pleas seeking exemption from personal appearance for their clients for Tuesday only. “We are very keen to come before the court,” Singhvi told Metropolitan Magistrate Lovleen, adding, “Please give us a date of your choice and that of the convenience of Dr Subramanian Swamy.”
Swamy, who has filed the case, however, told the court there are seven accused in the case and the Tuesday hearing was fixed in September itself. To which, Singhvi informed the court “Rahul has left for Chennai.” Rahul Gandhi was on a visit to flood-hit areas in Chennai and suburbs and Puducherry on Tuesday.
The magistrate, however, told the defence counsel to ensure that all the accused appear before the court on the next date of hearing — 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 p.m.,” the magistrate said.
Swamy also placed a copy of the verdict of the high court before the court. During the hearing, senior counsel Ramesh Gupta told the magistrate that one of the accused Sam Pitroda was in the United States and said they will try their best to bring him before the court on December 19.
The Delhi High Court had on Monday rejected the pleas of the Gandhis and the other accused for quashing of the summons issued against them in the case and also turned down their pleas for exemption from personal appearance in the trial court.
Along with the Gandhis, five other accused — Suman Dubey, Motilal Vohra, Oscar Fernandez, Sam Pitroda and Young India Ltd — had challenged the summons issued to them by a trial court on a complaint filed by Swamy against them for alleged cheating and misappropriation of funds in taking control of the now-defunct National Herald daily and its assets..