New Delhi, Aug 28:
A court Thursday fixed the next date of hearing in a case against Congress president Sonia Gandhi over acquisition of the National Herald newspaper to Dec 9, her 68th birthday.
Metropolitan Magistrate Gomati Manocha deferred the hearing after it was apprised that the Delhi High Court had put on hold a trial court’s summons issued against Sonia Gandhi, her son and party vice president Rahul Gandhi and others till Sep 3.
On June 26, the trial court issued summons to the Congress leaders for Aug 7 on a complaint by Bharatiya Janata Party leader Subramanian Swamy, alleging cheating in the acquisition of the Associated Journals Ltd, publisher of the now defunct National Herald, by the Young Indian Pvt Ltd. (YIL), “a firm in which Sonia and Rahul Gandhi each own a 38 percent stake”.
Swamy told the court Thursday that summons were put on hold for the six accused but not for Sam Pitroda, former chairman of the National Innovation Council. Swamy told the court Pitroda was served the summons at his house in the US.
Defence counsel Ramesh Gupta countered Swamy’s submission and said summons have to be served in a proper legal manner.
Apart from the Gandhis, Congress treasurer Moti Lal Vora, family friend Suman Dubey and party colleague Oscar Fernandes have sought to quash the proceedings initiated against them by a trial court here.
Swamy alleged that the 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.
AJL claimed it could not repay the loan and agreed to transfer the company and its assets to YIL.