In a much hyped court appearance Congress president Sonia Gandhi and party Vice President Rahul Gandhi got bail on personal bonds of Rs 50,000 each in connection, without any condition, at 3:10 pm on a super saturday, in Patiala House courts in New Delhi in the National Herald case, under unprecedented high security. All the other accused in have also received bail in the case without any conditions. Among the five accused, Sam Pitroda was not present in court due to his ill health. Reliable sources say to TEHELKA that “Priyanka Gandhi signed bond appeal for Rahul Gandhi .” AK Antony signed bail bond for Sonia Gandhi.”
Next hearing will be on 20th February, 2016 at 2 pm. The petitioner Subramanian Swamy had urged the court they (accused) might leave India and hence wanted the court to keep their passport but court rejected his appeal. Along with accused around 30 Congress members were present in the court. Delhi Police officials were outside the court. Kapil Sibal, who appeared for the Gandhis, said : “The court refused to entertain Swamy’s plea to impose restrictions on the passports of Sonia and Rahul”. Among family members, Priyanka Gandhi was present in court. Former PM Dr Manmohan Singh and Kumari Selja also showed up in court
Central Delhi as well as the areas around the Patiala House District Courts Complex and the Congress party headquarters at Akbar Road, was in the grip of a high security alert. More than 16 new CCTV zoom in cameras were installed around Patiala House District Complex in order to have clear vision of each movement. People took their seats before one-and-a-half-hours before the court go for hearing in the National Herald case.
More than thousands of BSF and RAF were deployed to maintain the peace around. Delhi police security wing in plain-clothes, sniffer dogs and Rapid Action Force were also seen inside the complex.
Senior leader Ghulam Nabi Azad launched a attack on the petitioner Subramanian Swamy and the ruling party at the Centre the BJP. Azad said : “Congress National office bearers and workers were already aware of that Subramanian Swamy and Prime Minister Narendra Modi, is behind this conspiracy.” “As we know we all have read news papers BJP has given Z+ security and one bungalow to Swamy.” Swamy is neither a member of parliament nor lives in border state zone then why has security been given to him. It is very clear that BJP gifted him this for dragging Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi into Court.” I used to see that earlier BJP slogan was “Congress mukt Bharat” but, they have changed it to Opposition Mukt Bharat.”
Azad further added that “Congress is ready to fight bravely. We are ready for the legal fight in court and political fight in court.” “I would like to inform BJP that we bravely fought with British and with for the same we are ready with BJP.” Subramanian Swamy while countering the Congress charges said “Congress is doing drama on it. If they are true, why had the Nation-wide protest was launched? This shows congress is looser. Nation-wide protest was launched by congress supporters. Protest was seen in Maharashtra, Pune, in New Delhi.
Speaking to Media senior Congress leader Mani Shankar Aiyar said that ” Today the BJP is firing from his shoulders.” “Subramanian Swamy is the performing flea of Indian politics. we have seen him distanced from every party he has ever been a part of.”
The National Herald scam is an ongoing case filed by BJP leader Subramanian Swamy against Congress president Sonia Gandhi and vice president Rahul Gandhi and some other Congress leaders , their companies and associated persons in a Delhi High court. Swamy had alleged criminal misappropriation of funds by Sonia Gandhi and her son Rahul Gandhi in this matter.
As per the complaint filed in the court of the Metropolitan Magistrate, Indian National Congress granted an interest-free loan of Rs 90.25 crore (US$13 million) to Associated Journals Limited (AJL), owner of the National Herald newspaper. It was alleged that the loan was either not repaid or repaid in cash, which is in violation of Section 269T of the Income Tax Act, 1961. A closely held company, Young Indian, was incorporated in November 2010 with a capital of Rs 5 lakh (US$7,500) and it acquired almost all the shareholding of AJL and all its properties (alleged to be worth Rs 50 billion (US$750 million)).