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National Herald case: Strategy changed? Sonia, Rahul Gandhi won’t move SC, say sources

The Congress high command seems to have changed its strategy pertaining to National Herald case.

The Congress top brass has decided that the party president Sonia Gandhi and vice-president Rahul Gandhi will not move the Supreme Court, hence will appear before the Delhi High Court.

Earlier, Congress President Sonia Gandhi, her son Rahul Gandhi and others were on Tuesday directed to appear in person on December 19 by a Delhi court which allowed their plea seeking exemption from personal appearance for the day in the National Herald case.

Senior advocates Dr. Abhishek Manu Singhvi, Harin Raval and Ramesh Gupta appeared for the Gandhis and other accused and moved separate pleas seeking exemption from personal apperance for their clients for Tuesday only.

“We are very keen to come before the court,” Singhvi said Metropolitan Magistrate Lovleen, adding, “Please give us a date of your choice and that of the convenience of Dr. Subramanian Swamy.”

Along with the Gandhis, five other accused – Suman Dubey, Moti Lal Vohra, Oscar Fernandez, Sam Pitroda and Young India Ltd – had challenged the summons issued to them by a trial court on a complaint by BJP leader Subramanian Swamy against them for alleged cheating and misappropriation of funds in taking control of the now-defunct daily.

On June 26, the trial court issued summons to the Congress leaders on Swamy’s complaint about “cheating” in the acquisition of Associated Journals Ltd (AJL) by Young India Ltd. (YIL) – “a firm in which Sonia and Rahul Gandhi each own a 38 per cent stake”.

The BJP leader had claimed that Sonia and Rahul Gandhi, as majority shareholders of YIL, benefited from the acquisition of AJL. He alleged that AJL had received an interest-free loan of Rs. 90.25 crore from the Congress and that the party transferred the debt to YIL for Rs. 50 lakh.

At the time, AJL, which had Vora as its chairman, claimed that it could not repay the loan and agreed to transfer the company and its assets to YIL.

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