New Delhi: Rahul and Sonia Gandhi get bail after the hearing at the Patiala House court on surety of Rs 50,000. The next hearing will be held on February 20.
Sonia, Rahul granted bail
New Delhi, Dec 19 (IANS) Congress president Sonia Gandhi and party vice president Rahul Gandhi were granted bail in the National Herald case on Saturday by a court here.
They appeared in the court of Metropolitan Magistrate Loveleen in the Patiala House courts complex.
Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Arrive At Court To Appear In National Herald Case
New Delhi: Congress President Sonia Gandhi and Vice-President Rahul Gandhi have arrived at a trial court in Delhi to appear in the National Herald case. Mrs Gandhi’s daughter Priyanka arrived in the court a short while ago.
The two leaders are among six people – including other top Congress leaders and Gandhi family associates – accused by BJP leader Subramanian Swamy of trying to illegally acquire real estate worth thousands of crores belonging to the now defunct newspaper National Herald, founded by Jawaharlal Nehru.
The two will appear before the trial court at the Patiala House Courts at 3 pm and are likely to seek bail, sources in the Congress have said. Ahead of the hearing, Congress leaders accused the BJP of targeting opposition parties. “The government is resorting to unprecedented level of vendetta politics,” said party leader Ghulam Nabi Azad, adding that the BJP “now wants an opposition-free country.” Mr Vadra called the charges “desperate malicious attempts of defamation” in a Facebook post this morning.
The BJP hit back at the Congress. “Rahul Gandhi (is an) expert in lying. If he has a problem with the High Court, he can go to the Supreme Court. We are in government with peoples’ mandate,” Union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said. Mr Gandhi had earlier said the case was “100 per cent political vendetta coming out of the Prime Minister’s Office.”
Elaborate security arrangements have been made at the court where nearly 700 security personnel have been deployed. Once the Gandhis arrive, all but one gate will be closed. A temporary control room has been set up inside the court premises.
Ahead of the appearance, party supporters, leaders and lawmakers are gathering at the Congress headquarters, 24 Akbar Road, in a show of strength. Congress supporters are also staging anti-BJP protests in cities like Bhopal, Bengaluru and Mumbai.
After appearing in court, Mrs Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi are expected to head to the party headquarters and address the media.
Mr Swamy had filed the case in a local court in 2012, one year before he joined the BJP. The court had in 2014 issued summons to the Gandhis and others which they challenged in the Delhi High Court. Earlier this month, the High Court refused to stay the summons.
The High Court’s decision saw the Congress party and its brass accuse the BJP of political vendetta. A combative Mrs Gandhi had told NDTV, “I am Indira Gandhi’s daughter-in-law, I am not afraid of anyone or anything.”
The BJP on its part insisted that Mr Swamy had filed the case before he joined the party and that the party or the government it heads has nothing to do with the judicial process. In an interview to NDTV on Monday, Finance Minister and eminent lawyer Arun Jaitley said Mrs Gandhi’s statement “reeked of political entitlement.”
Yesterday, the Cabinet Committee on Accommodation or CCA, chaired by Home Minister Rajnath Singh, cleared the allotment of a house to Mr Swamy, who is neither a minister, nor a Member of Parliament or a government functionary. Sources said he was being provided accommodation for “security reasons.”
Attacking the decision, Mr Singhvi tweeted: “Hope sub swamy not being ( partially) rewarded with govt accommodation for services rendered against cong! (sic)”.