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In big setback, Sonia Gandhi, Rahul asked to appear before court in National Herald case

NEW DELHI: In a major setback for Congress president Sonia Gandhi and vice-president Rahul Gandhi, the Delhi high court on Monday rejected their petitions in the National Herald case, effectively asking them to appear before the trial court.

Upholding the summons issued to the top Congress brass by the trial court, the high court dismissed the petitions filed by the top Congress brass, which has now decided to move a division bench of the court challenging the order.

“If Rahul and Sonia decided to move the Supreme Court, I am prepared for that,” BJP leader and the main complainant in the case, Subramanian Swamy, told reporters in New Delhi.

In his complaint, Swamy has alleged “breach of trust and cheating” because the Congress loaned Rs 90.25 crore to Associated Journals Ltd (AJL) and on December 28, 2010 assigned this debt to Young Indian Ltd (YIL), the charitable company, for Rs 50 lakh.

Swamy claims that Sonia and Rahul, allegedly holding 38 per cent stake each in YIL, benefited from the acquisition. He alleges 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.

The Congress, however, claims there is no illegality in Young India Ltd (YIL) taking over Associated Journals Ltd (AJL), the publisher of the now-defunct National Herald newspaper, as per the Companies Act.

Last week, the Delhi high court had reserved its verdict on the pleas of the Congress leaders seeking to quash the summons, issued by the trial court on June 26.

Apart from the Gandhis, Congress treasurer Motilal Vora, family friend Suman Dubey, and party leader Oscar Fernandes had moved the high court for quashing of summons to them by a trial court on Swamy’s complaint.

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