New Delhi: The Delhi High Court Tuesday said it will hear final arguments in July on a plea by BJP MP Subramanian Swamy seeking to lead evidence before the trial court in the National Herald case in which Congress chief Sonia Gandhi, her son Rahul and others are accused.
Justice Suresh Kumar Kait noted that the pleadings are complete in the case and said, “renotify at the end of the board for final arguments on July 30.”
The high court had earlier granted time to the Gandhis and others to file replies on the plea. The replies have now been filed. The Congress leaders were represented through senior advocates R S Cheema and Tarannum Cheema.
Swamy told the court that the pleadings are complete and he has also filed his rejoinder.
The high court had on February 22 issued notices and sought responses of Gandhis, AICC general secretary Oscar Fernandes, Suman Dubey, Sam Pitroda and Young Indian (YI) on Swamy’s plea and had stayed the trial court proceedings in the case till then.
Swamy has moved the high court against a trial court order of February 11 declining his plea to lead evidence to prosecute the Gandhis and the other accused in the case.
The trial court had said that Swamy’s application under section 244 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) to lead evidence would be considered after his examination in the case was over.
Swamy has sought summoning of certain witnesses, including the secretary-general (registry officer) of the Supreme Court, a deputy land and development officer, and a deputy commissioner of Income Tax, and also directions to them to prove certain documents which are part of the case.
In a private criminal complaint in the trial court, the BJP leader had accused the Gandhis and others of conspiring to cheat and misappropriate funds by paying only Rs 50 lakh, through which Young Indian Pvt Ltd (YI) obtained the right to recover Rs 90.25 crore that Associate Journals Ltd, owner of National Herald, owed to the Congress.
All the seven accused – the Gandhis, AICC treasurer Motilal Vora, AICC general secretary Oscar Fernandes, Suman Dubey, Sam Pitroda and YI – had denied the allegations.
Proceedings against Vora abated subsequent to his death, while the others were summoned by the trial court in 2014 for the alleged offences of misappropriation of property, criminal breach of trust, and cheating, read with criminal conspiracy of the Indian Penal Code.