The Congress President Sonia Gandhi, her son Rahul Gandhi and others were directed to appear in person on December 19 at 3:00 pm by a Delhi court which dismissed their plea seeking exemption from personal appearance in the National Herald case.
The BJP leader Subramanian Swamy filed a petition alleging misappropriation of party funds to take control of the National Herald newspaper by Sonia Gandhi and her aides. Apart from the Gandhis, four others congress leaders —Motilal Vora, the chairman of the board of directors of National Herald and Congress treasurer, Oscar Fernandes, Congress general secretary, journalist Suman Dubey and former National Knowledge Commission chairperson Sam Pitroda—have also to appear before the Patiala court.
In a court house full of senior advocates including Kapil Sibal, Abhishek Manu Singhvi and P. Chidambaram on one side, it was unlikely to get the attention of the judge. However calm and composed Swamy said “The stalwarts can argue all day—I just need an hour to make my point”. A few hearings later, the judge was convinced and quashes an appeal against trial court summonses issued to Congress party president Sonia Gandhi and vice president Rahul Gandhi to appear before the court on Dec 19.
Congress members, upset over the 'National Herald' case, on disrupted the Indian Parliament, protesting against alleged “vendetta politics” leading to the adjournment of the both houses. They accused the BJP-led NDA government for unfairly targeting its leaders by using “proxy litigation” in the National Herald case to divert people’s attention from its own failures.
"I am the daughter-in-law of Indira Gandhi. I am not scared of anyone. I am not disturbed." Gandhi told reporters after a meeting of the strategy committee of Congress party in Parliament.
With the National Herald case providing fresh stand-off between the government and the Congress over the case, hopes has almost receded for the passage of the Goods and Services Tax Bill (GST) in the Parliament.