A Delhi court, which had issued summons against Congress President Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi and others, today deferred till August 28 hearing in the case filed by BJP leader Subramanian Swamy in the matter pertaining to acquisition of National Herald daily.
Metropolitan Magistrate Gomati Manocha postponed the matter after the counsel appearing for Sonia Gandhi and others informed the court that Delhi High Court had yesterday stayed the criminal proceedings pending before the trial court till August 13.
Senior advocate Ramesh Gupta, who appeared for Sonia, Rahul and others, told the court that summons have not been served on accused Sam Pitroda as he stays in the USA now.
Swamy requested the court to hand over the summons issued against Pitroda to him so that he could serve it on him. The court permitted Swamy's contention and fixed the matter for hearing on August 28.
In a reprieve for Sonia, Rahul and others, the high court had yesterday stayed till August 13 the criminal proceedings before the trial court against them. "Renotify the matters on August 13. Till that time, the impugned order dated June 26, 2014 of the trial court against the accused shall remain stayed," Justice V P Vaish had said.
The stay had come as a relief to Sonia, Rahul and others including Congress treasurer Moti Lal Vora, General Secretary Oscar Fernandes, Sam Pitroda and Suman Dubey who were asked to appear before the trial court today.
The Congress leaders have challenged the lower court's summoning orders against them on a complaint of Swamy alleging cheating and misappropriation of funds in the acquisition of the daily by Young Indian(YI). Pitroda is the only accused who, so far, has not moved the high court as the summons has not been served on him.
The high court has now fixed the matter for further hearing on August 13 when the counsel for Suman Dubey and Swamy will argue their case.
While summoning the six as accused in the case, the trial court had held that Swamy has established a prima facie case of cheating, misappropriation of funds and criminal breach of trust against them. Swamy had accused Sonia and Rahul Gandhi and others of conspiring to cheat and misappropriate funds by just paying Rs 50 lakh by which YI obtained the right to recover Rs 90.25 crore which the Associated Journals Limited had owed to the Congress party.
The accused persons were summoned under sections 403 (dishonest misappropriation of property, 406 (criminal breach of trust) and 420 (cheating) read with section 120B (criminal conspiracy) of the IPC.