NEW DELHI: In relief to Congress president Sonia Gandhi and vice president Rahul, the Supreme Court on Friday exempted them from personal appearance in the trial court in the National Herald case, and also expunged certain observations of the High Court.
The trial court is set to take up the matter on February 20.
Allowing their plea for exemption from personal appearance, Justices J S Khehar and C Nagappan said, “In the peculiar facts and circumstances of this case and the position occupied by the petitioners, we are of the view that the presence of the petitioners before the trial court would cause more inconvenience than convenience.”
BJP leader Subramanian Swamy, who is the complainant in the case, opposed the plea for exemption from appearance.
The bench, which passed the order after hearing senior advocates Kapil Sibal, A M Singhvi and R S Cheema, who were appearing for the Gandhis and others, and Swamy, said, “So far as determination by the Delhi high court in rejecting the prayer for quashing the proceedings against the petitioner, we do not find justification for interfering with it.”
“We are of the view that it was not open for the high court to record the findings conclusively. And the same should have been left to the trial court to record after recording of evidence. We hereby direct expunging of all inferences, findings and observations arrived by high court on various factual aspects of the matter,” the bench said.