New Delhi : A Delhi court today gave respite to Congress President Sonia Gandhi and Vice President Rahul Gandhi from personal appearance in the scheduled hearing of National Herald case, which thus proceeded in their absentia. However, the court has demanded a personal presence in the next hearing, for which the court asked the Gandhis to appear before it on December 19. Based on their plea for today’s exemption, Metropolitan Magistrate Lovleen allowed absentia for the day. But, the court has issued order to all the six accused persons in the case, and asked each one of them to appear in person on December 19. In the Magistrate’s exact words — All six accused persons are directed to appear on December 19.
Senior Advocate Abhisekh Manu Singhvi appearing on behalf of the accused stated at the court that Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi were ‘keen to appear’ before the court in National Herald case and had requested an absentia just for today.
With the winter session in progress, the National Herald case made its way into both the houses, and created ruckus within the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha, as MPs (Members of Parliament) from the Congress block protested against the ruling central government. Both Parliament Houses were repeatedly adjourned after Congress members disrupted proceedings shouting slogans, accusing the government of political vendetta.
The protest found support from their leaders too when Sonia and Rahul Gandhi today accused the Modi government of pursuing ‘political vendetta’ against them in the National Herald case. The Congress party alleged that such cases were being pushed to fulfil BJP’s attempt of a Congress-free India. The Gandhis, from their side, asserted that truth would ultimately prevail despite the ‘vicious and malicious’ attack. In Sonia Gandhi’s very own words — I am the daughter-in-law of Indira Gandhi. I am not scared of anyone. I am not disturbed.
Rahul Gandhi who was in Cuddalore, reacted on the case and spoke to media, saying — That is not going to happen.This is the way Central government functions. I absolutely see a political vendetta.
The party also fielded three of its senior leaders and lawyers, namely — Kapil Sibal, Abhishek Singhvi and Randeep Surjewala, who insisted that the government and BJP wanted a ‘Congress-mukt’ Bharat, and hence such cases against Congress leaders were being pushed. But, they added, ‘People of India will ensure that Congress comes back to power with a bang like it had done in past. We have nothing to fear, nothing to hide.’