Herald case: Accused Cong leaders challenge trial court order

Posted By: PTI
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New Delhi, Apr 4: Congress leaders on Monday, April 4 challenged in Delhi High Court the trial court's decision summoning the 2010-11 balance sheet of Indian National Congress (INC) in connection with the National Herald case, saying such an order was not "desirable" in the present matter.

"Neither notice was issued to us, nor we were summoned to contest the present application filed before the trial court judge on which an order was passed," senior advocate Kapil Sibal, appearing for Sam Pitroda, told Justice P S Teji.


"It was an ex-parte order," Sibal said, adding that the application filed by complainant BJP leader Subramanian Swamy should not have been allowed without hearing them. The counsel further contended that the documents have "no relevancy" to this present case and the trial court judge has failed to explain in his order the "necessity or desirability" of these materials for the purposes of any "investigation".

"He (trial court judge) has to demonstrate the relevancy or the necessity of these documents," Sibal said, adding that "this order should be set aside". Congress's Motilal Vora, Oscar Fernandes, Suman Dubey, Sam Pitroda and Young Indian Pvt Ltd (YI) have challenged the trial court's January 11 and March 11 orders respectively in which the magistrate had allowed summoning of documents from Ministries of Finance and Corporate Affairs, Income Tax Department and other agencies in the case in which Congress President Sonia Gandhi, her son Rahul Gandhi are also accused.

The case is based on a private criminal complaint lodged by Swamy, charging them with cheating, conspiracy and criminal breach of trust. All the accused have denied the allegations levelled against them by Swamy.

The trial court had also summoned the balance sheet of INC for 2010-2011 besides the balance sheet of 2010-2011 of Associated Journals Pvt Ltd (AJL), observing that these documents of INC and AJL could not be referred as "personal documents" of the accused. Besides Pitroda, Vora, represented by senior advocate R S Cheema, submitted that they will suffer "prejudice" by calling of INC documents, as the party is not involved in this case.


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