Herald Case: SC Asks Swamy to Approach HC For Speedy Trial

New Delhi
Herald Case: SC Asks Swamy to Approach HC For Speedy Trial

Supreme Court today asked BJP leader Subramanian Swamy to make out a case in Delhi High Court for speedy trial of the National Herald case in which Congress President Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi along with three others have been summoned as accused.

The apex court said it cannot hear the matter directly as it was pending in the High Court and a stay has been ordered against the trial court's decision to summon them.

While making it clear to Swamy that his petition was not maintainable under Article 32, a bench of justices V Gopala Gowda and R Banumathi said, "You can make the same argument before the High Court and bring it to the notice of the judge who is hearing the matter by filing an application in it or a fresh petition".

"You have got every right to go before the Delhi High Court. We will not entertain this kind of petition," the bench said while clarifying that Swamy can only come to the apex court by way of an appeal if his grievances are not addressed.

The apex court noted that after hearing for sometime, it was allowing Swamy to "withdraw the petition with the leave to approach High Court in the pending matter or can file a separate petition".

Swamy said he was compelled to move the apex court in view of the developments in the High court where the matter is listed for hearing on March 18.

Elaborating the background, he said on January 12, Justice V P Vaish of the High Court had recused himself from hearing the matter as his roster of cases was changed and directed that the petitions be listed before the Chief Justice of the High Court who had assigned it to Justice Sunil Gaur.

Swamy had opposed the judge's recusal and requested that the matter be heard by the same court which has been largely dealing with it, as a fresh hearing of the case would further delay the issue. The court had declined Swamy's request and transferred the case.

Despite the matter being part heard, the new judge gave a long date making it virtually to restart the arguments, he said.

The High Court had on August 6, 2014 stayed the summons issued against the Gandhis and others, and on December 15, 2014 listed the matter for today to be heard on daily basis.

The court had on December 15 had also stayed the summons till final disposal of the petitions.

Swamy had also mentioned the matter before a bench of Chief Justice seeking stay of the transfer of the case saying Justice Vaish, who had heard the matter since beginning, be directed to hear the same.

The bench, however, had said it would pass an appropriate order in this regard while fixing the case for further hearing on March 18.

Swamy, in his complaint before the trial court, had alleged cheating and misappropriation of funds by the Congress leaders in the acquisition of National Herald by Young Indian.

Besides Sonia and Rahul, Congress treasurer Moti Lal Vora, General Secretary Oscar Fernandes and Suman Dubey had moved the High Court on July 30 last year against the trial court order summoning them in the case.

The trial court on June 26 last year had summoned Sonia, Rahul, Vora, Fernandes, Dubey and Sam Pitroda to appear before it on August 7.

On August 6, the high court had stayed the summons issued against the accused.

Fresh summons against Pitroda, who has so far not filed an appeal in the high court, was issued on December 9.

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