National Herald case: Court terms Sonia, Rahul’s applications as infructuous

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The Delhi High Court, on 15 October, said, the applications moved by Congress president Sonia Gandhi, her son Rahul, and others were “infructuous” (unfruitful). They alleged that a “different treatment” was meted out to a challenge petition filed by them in the National Herald case.

In their application, the Congress leaders had opposed the transfer of the case from the court of Justice Sunil Gaur, who had partly heard the matter for eight months, to the court of Justice PS Teji.

Since the matter was listed before him by the court’s registry, Justice Gaur, on 15 October, termed their applications as infructuous.

The judge said, he hadn’t recused himself from the matter, and added that, the petitions came back to him, as the case was heard partly by him.

Agreeing with the court, senior advocate Kapil Sibal, appearing for Sonia Gandhi, said that, the applications had become infructuous, and that they can be safely withdrawn.

The court, thereafter, said, it will hear arguments in the matter in the afternoon. Resuming, the Gandhi’s in their application said that, their petition challenging a trial court order was transferred in violation of the set procedures and practices being followed by the court.

They said in the petition, “The matter, being partly heard, ought to have been listed before the bench of Justice Gaur before whom the case has been pending for more than eight months and was heard by him at length on several occasions.”

“According to the court’s accepted procedures, the registry ought to have placed this matter before the same Judge where it was partly heard, especially when the same has been clarified and appended to the Roster Modification Notice itself,” said the application.

The trial court had, on June 26, last year, summoned Sonia, Rahul, Congress treasurer Moti Lal Vora, general secretary Oscar Fernandes, Suman Dubey, and Sam Pitroda, to appear before it, on August 7, 2014, on a complaint filed by BJP leader Subramanian Swamy, alleging cheating, and breach of trust in the acquisition of Associated Journals Ltd (AJL) by Young Indian Pvt Ltd (YIL), in which the accused party leaders are shareholders.

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