National Herald Case: Supreme Court Will Hear Gandhis' Challenge To Dismissed Plea

07/12/2015 6:12 PM IST | Updated 15/07/2016 8:25 AM IST
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Congress party President Sonia Gandhi, right, and her son and Vice President Rahul Gandhi listen to a speaker during celebrations marking the 125th birth anniversary of the first Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru in New Delhi, India, Thursday, Nov. 13, 2014. Nehru is the great-grandfather of Rahul Gandhi. His birth anniversary falls on Nov. 14. (AP Photo/Saurabh Das)

NEW DELHI -- The Delhi High Court order dismissing pleas against summons issued to Sonia and Rahul Gandhi in the National Herald case will be challenged in the Supreme Court tomorrow, the Congress said today claiming "several legal deficiencies" in the verdict.

Party spokesman Abhishek Singhvi, who is the senior advocate representing the Vice President, brushed aside suggestions that it was a major setback for them in the case filed by BJP leader Subramanian Swamy.

"These things are subjective...We have an open and shut case. There have been several legal deficiencies. We have unassailable arguments," he told reporters making it clear that the party will "not only challenge, but will take all legal recourses and avenues".

"We believe there is substantive merit in the quashing petition (against summons) that we had filed." No one has ever complained of being cheated in this matter, he said.

"But a person with no locus, Dr Subramanian Swamy, alleges that, though he himself has not been cheated, an offence of cheating has occurred. So, we are raising the issue of locus standi in a very big way. There are many other legal grounds," Singhvi said.

"We are clear that we intend to challenge it (high court order) on all recourse available, at appropriate forum. We intend to seek a continuation of the exemption (from personal appearance) and stay (on proceedings) which has been continued for over a year when the matter was pending in the high court," he said.

ALSO READ: Delhi High Court Dismisses Plea By Sonia, Rahul Gandhi In National Herald Case

Singhvi said it was not a case of cheating. "How does it become a case of cheating, we fail to understand...which is the challenge which led to the stay of over one year," he said.

Contending that no cheating has taken place in the case, he said that the control of Associated Journals which was brining National Herald has been passed to a new Company Young India set up under Sec 25 of the Companies Act.

Noting that office bearers of the Congress were in charge of the National Herald earlier and they remained the same in the new company, he wondered as to where had the cheating taken place as alleged.

Besides, he said that the Associated Journals Ltd. still had the ownership rights of the movable and immovable assets and there was no change in that.

Singhvi's reaction came close on the heels of the High court order dismissed the pleas of the Gandhis challenging summons issued to them in the National Herald case in which they have to appear before the trial court tomorrow.

The Gandhis and the other five accused — Suman Dubey, Moti Lal Vohra, Oscar Fernandez, Sam Pitroda and Young India Ltd — will have to appear in the trial court tomorrow, before which the case will come up.

The summons were issued on a criminal complaint lodged by Swamy for alleged cheating and misappropriation of funds in acquiring ownership of now-defunct daily National Herald.

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