New Delhi: A day after the Delhi High Court dismissed a plea of Congress chief Sonia Gandhi and vice president Rahul Gandhi to quash the summons against them in the National Herald case, the Gandhis are likely to file a petition challenging HC's order in the Supreme Court on Tuesday.
In a setback to Sonia and Rahul, Delhi HC Justice Sunil Gaur turned down the plea of Gandhis and five others for exemption from personal appearance in the case in the trial court, where it is listed on Tuesday.
Justice Gaur made scathing observations on the "questionable conduct" regarding how they took control of the publication.
Along with the Gandhis, five other accused--Suman Dubey, Moti Lal Vohra, Oscar Fernandez, Sam Pitroda and Young India Ltd--had challenged the summons issued to them by a trial court on a complaint by BJP leader Subramanian Swamy against them for alleged cheating and misappropriation of funds in taking control of the now-defunct daily.
Meanwhile, Swamy has filed a caveat in the Supreme Court to pre-empt any ex-parte order on appeals likely to be filed by Congress chief and her son Rahul in the National Herald case.
On June 26, the trial court issued summons to the Congress leaders on Swamy's complaint about "cheating" in the acquisition of Associated Journals Ltd (AJL) by Young India Ltd. (YIL) - "a firm in which Sonia and Rahul Gandhi each own a 38 percent stake".
The BJP leader had claimed that Sonia and Rahul Gandhi, as majority shareholders of YIL, benefited from the acquisition of AJL. He alleged that 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.
At the time, AJL, which had Vora as its chairman, claimed that it could not repay the loan and agreed to transfer the company and its assets to YIL.
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Filing the plea in the high court, the Congress leaders had said Swamy was a political opponent and the present criminal proceedings were initiated only with an intent to secure an oblique political objective.