New Delhi: A judge of the Delhi High Court on Monday recused himself from hearing the Congress President Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi's pleas for stay of the trial court order summoning them and three others in the National Herald case.
Justice VP Vaish said he will not hear the matter as his roster of cases has been changed and directed that the petitions be listed before an appropriate bench.
The judge, had on August 6 stayed the summons issued against the Gandhis and others, and on December 15, 2014 had listed the matter for today, to be heard on day-to-day basis.
The court on December 15, 2014, had also stayed the summons till final disposal of the petitions.
BJP leader Subramanian Swamy opposed the judge's recusal and requested that the matter be heard by the same court which has been largely dealing with it, as a fresh hearing of the case would further delay the issue.
The court declined Swamy's request and transferred the case.
Later in the day, Swamy mentioned the matter before a bench of Chief Justice G Rohini and Justice R S Endlaw seeking stay of the transfer of the case.
Swamy said that Justice Vaish has heard the matter since beginning so he be directed to hear the same.
The bench said that it will pass an appropriate order in this regard. The case has now been fixed for further hearing on March 18.
Swamy, in his complaint before the trial court, had alleged cheating and misappropriation of funds by the Congress leaders in the acquisition of National Herald by Young Indian (YI).
Besides Sonia and Rahul, Congress treasurer Moti Lal Vora, General Secretary Oscar Fernandes and Suman Dubey had moved the High Court on July 30, 2014 against the trial court order summoning them in the case.
The trial court on June 26 last year had summoned Sonia, Rahul, Vora, Fernandes, Dubey and Sam Pitroda to appear before it on August 7, 2014.
Subsequently the high court had stayed the summons issued to accused persons on August 6.
Fresh summons against Pitroda, who has so far not filed an appeal in the high court, was issued on December 9.