The Delhi high court on Friday asked BJP leader Subramanian Swamy for his response on petitions filed by Congress chief Sonia Gandhi, party vice-president Rahul Gandhi and other party leaders, challenging a summon order issued by a lower court in connection with Swamy’s complaint in the National Herald acquisition case.
The court has asked the BJP leader to submit his reply before August 5, the next date of hearing. Presiding over the case, Justice VP Vaish did not give immediate relief to the Congress leaders, saying he would first consider Swamy’s reply.
Sonia Gandhi refused to comment on the issue as it was a “sub judice matter”.
A trial court had issued summons to the Congress leaders on a complaint by Swamy, where he alleged “cheating” in the acquisition of Associated Journal Limited (AJL), the publisher of National Herald, by Young Indian Limited (YIL) — a firm in which Sonia and Rahul Gandhi each have a 38% stake.
Senior advocates Kapil Sibal and Abhishek Manu Singhvi, appearing for the Congress leaders, sought a stay of the proceeding at the lower court, but Swamy asked for time to go through the petitions, saying he had not been served on time.
In July, the income tax department had taken note of Swamy’s allegation that the Congress gave an unsecured loan to YIL to acquire AJL and sent a notice to the party for claiming tax exemption.
Congress leaders said the “complaint was politically motivated, and intended to wreak vengeance and unleash political vendetta” against them.