Sonia, Rahul appear in Delhi court, granted bail

New Delhi, Dec 19 (IANS) Congress president Sonia Gandhi and party vice president Rahul Gandhi on Saturday appeared before a trial court which granted them bail in the National Herald case.

They appeared before Metropolitan Magistrate Loveleen in the Patiala House courts complex here.

Kapil Sibal, who appeared on behalf of the Congress leaders, told reporters that the court rejected petitioner BJP leader Subramanian Swamy’s plea to impose restrictions on their travel abroad.

“We moved an application before the court on behalf of all the accused for grant of bail. The court was kind enough to grant bail without conditions except for furnishing security in the sum of Rs.50,000 on behalf of each of the accused which were furnished,” Sibal told reporters after the hearing.

“Swamy urged the court that some condition should be imposed on the travel of the accused out of India. The court declined that request and without condition allowed us bail,” he added.

The court fixed the next date of hearing for February 20 at 2 p.m.

Sonia Gandhi and her son Rahul Gandhi left the court complex immediately thereafter.

On June 26 last year, the trial court issued summons to the Congress leaders on Swamy’s complaint about “cheating” in the acquisition of Associated Journals Ltd., which published the National Herald newspaper, by Young India Ltd., “a firm in which Sonia and Rahul Gandhi each own a 38 percent stake”.

Congress treasurer Motilal Vora, Gandhis’ family friend Suman Dubey and another party leader Oscar Fernandes and Sam Pitroda, a former chairman of the National Innovation Council, had been named as accused in the case.

The Delhi High Court last week dismissed the plea of the Gandhis to quash the summons issued to them by the trial court on Swamy’s complaint regarding the acquisition of National Herald newspaper.

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