National Herald case: Next hearing on Feb. 20

New Delhi: The next hearing for the National Herald case is scheduled for February 20, at 2:00 pm.

After the Congress president Sonia Gandhi and vice president Rahul Gandhi were granted bail in minutes of the beginning of the hearing in the National Herald case on Saturday, defence lawyer Kapil Sibbal said that Subramanian Swamy had asked for travel restrictions to be placed on the accused which the judge declined.

He also said that Sam Pitroda was granted exemption due to his medical condition.

Subramanian Swamy also demanded bailable warrant against Sam Pitroda for non appearance and also opposed bail for the Gandhis.

The Gandhis along with the other accused in the National Herald case appeared before Metropolitan Magistrate Lovleen in response to summons issued against them. They have been summoned by the trial court on prima facie charges of criminal conspiracy, cheating, criminal breach of trust and dishonest misappropriation of property under relevant sections of the law.

Congress MLA V.S. Rathore however represented Sam Pitroda in the court today. Pitroda is unwell and undergoing treatment in the United States.

The National Herald newspaper was closely associated with India’s freedom struggle and the Indian National Congress till 2008. In January 2008, discussions about its closure began. On 1 April 2008, the paper’s editorial announced that it was temporarily suspending operations. Before its closure, the paper was being run by Associated Journals Limited (AJL).

BJP leader Subramanian Swamy filed the case in a local court in 2012. The trial court then issued summons to the two leaders among others in June 2014, but they approached the Delhi High Court seeking a stay. On Monday this week, the high court refused to stay the summons, and asked all of the accused to appear for a hearing on December 19.

The accused face allegations that they illegally acquired property worth Rs. 5,000 crore belonging to the National Herald newspaper. (ANI)