National Herald case: Cong opposes Swamy’s application for summoning witnesses to testify documents

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi (left), BJP leader Subramanian Swamy and Congress President Sonia Gandhi

New Delhi [India], December 24 (ANI): The Congress leaders, accused in the National Herald case, on Wednesday opposed an application moved by BJP leader Subramanian Swamy, seeking summoning of various witnesses to testify documents related to the matter.
Several Congress leaders, including Sonia and Rahul Gandhi are accused in the case.
Senior lawyer R S Cheema and Advocate Tarannum Cheema, representing various accused Congress leaders, in the reply, stated that the present application is liable to be dismissed being totally "vague, tainted by inordinate delay and dilatory in nature". It was incumbent upon the complainant to file an application under the appropriate provision setting out the list of witnesses, along with other specific details, whom he intended to examine, the reply copy stated.
Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Sachin Gupta slated the matter for the next hearing on January 12, 2021, and granted time to complainant Swamy to file a rejoinder in the matter.
Swamy, in his application, said that this is a quintessential case of documentary evidence and therefore these documents need to be proved through their witnesses.
"Due to the fact that there are many documents that have been annexed to the chief examination of the complainant, which are public documents, which have been marked; these are certified copies of these public documents. Due to the fact that these are marked documents, these documents need to be proved through the testimony of the appropriate witnesses," the application said.
Through the application, Swamy sought summoning of Secretary-General Sanjeev S Kalgaonar (Registry officer) of Supreme Court of India; Rajnish Kumar Jha, Deputy Land and Development officer; Saket Singh, Deputy Commissioner of Income Tax Circle-1; the Congress official who issued the press statement on November 2, 2012, and Journalist J Gopi Krishnan.
Earlier, the predecessor magistrate, Vishal Pahuja, had asked both the parties to explore the solution for proceeding with the matter further as the COVID-19 situation is going to stay longer and the court being the fast-track court has to expedite the proceedings. Either the parties can appear before the physical court and to avoid any crowding only this matter will be listed for an entire day or the evidence can be recorded through videoconferencing.
Gandhis' lawyer R S Cheema had earlier partly cross-examined Swamy in the matter.
The National Herald case, which was filed by Swamy, is being heard by a special court in Delhi's Rouse Avenue against Sonia, Rahul and other associated persons.
According to Swamy's complaint, Associated Journals Limited (AJL), owner of the National Herald newspaper, had taken an interest-free loan of Rs 90.25 crore from the Indian National Congress. It is alleged that the loan was not repaid. Swamy had filed the case in 2012 accusing the Gandhis and others of conspiring to cheat and misappropriate funds. (ANI)