Prahlad Rao | December 8, 2015
Court summons to Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi in National Herald case have become a political issue. Congress on Tuesday forced adjournment of both houses of parliament with party members in both Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha storming into the well, protesting over the "politics of revenge".
The party also held a press conference and senior Congress leader Kapil Sibal said BJP was distracting the country by targeting the Gandhis.
In the court their senior advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi called it an example of 'political vendetta' at its worst. Congress will fight the case with all its might; the grand old party has an unassailable case and has no doubts legally.
If the facts are in its favour, one fails to understand all the noise being created by the Congress. Where is the need to disrupt parliament when the case needs to fought in the court?
In Lok Sabha, speaker Sumitra Mahajan asked Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge to explain what his party was protesting against. But Kharge did not respond to her as Sonia Gandhi, sitting next to him, gestured him apparently not to say anything.
After hearing Speaker's call, TMC leader Sudeep Bandopadhyay also told Sonia Gandhi to respond to the Chair. She responded to him in gestures but could not be heard in the din.
TMC members were also on their feet but the reason for their protest could not be known due to the din.
Similar scenes were witnessed in Rajya Sabha where slogan shouting Congress members stormed the Well as soon as it met for the day.
They raised slogans like "Tanashahi nahi chalegi" (dictatorship will not be tolerated)" and "Badle ki rajnithi nahi chalegi" (politics of revenge).
Deputy Chairman PJ Kurien got listed papers of the day tabled amidst the din and asked Congress members to go back to their places and explain the reason for their protest.
"Instead of shouting slogan, one of you stand up and say what is your grievance," he said. "Let me also know... I am not able to understand anything."
Congress member, however, did not pay heed to his requests and continued shouting slogans.
Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said their problem is the court not the government.
Congress, he said, should respect the judicial process and work under the due process of law.
With Congress members unrelenting, both Houses were adjourned.
Earlier, Sonia Gandhi told reporters: "I am the daughter-in-law of Indira Gandhi. I am not scared of anyone. I am not disturbed."
Outside the parliament, senior Congress leader Kapil Sibal said BJP was distracting the country by targeting the Gandhis.
Addressing the press, Sibal said, “Subramanian Swamy is BJP's power of attorney to persecute the Congress.”
“He is his master's voice,” Congress leader, who is also a senior advocate, added.
Further hitting out at the BJP, Sibal pointed out, “CBI is captive parrot after Modi government came to power.”
“Can I ask BJP how it had spent its money?” he questioned.
In the court today, senior advocates Abhishek Singhvi, Harin Raval and Ramesh Gupta appeared for the Gandhis and other accused and moved separate pleas seeking exemption from personal appearance for their clients for today only.
"We are very keen to come before the court," Singhvi told Metropolitan Magistrate Lovleen, adding, "Please give us a date of your choice and that of the convenience of Dr Subramanian Swamy."
Swamy, who has filed the case, however, told the court that there are seven accused in the case and today's date was fixed in September itself.
"Accused number 2 (Rahul Gandhi) has left for Chennai this morning," he said.
The magistrate, however, told the defence counsel to ensure that all the accused appear before the court on the next date of hearing on December 19.
"Make sure that all the accused appear on December 19. I am giving exemption from personal appearance only for today. Don't come in the morning on December 19. You come at 3 PM," the magistrate said.
The arguments of Gandhis advocates is that: a.) Each accused is extremely 'keen, ready and willing' to appear before the court at the earliest. b) - We were seeking exemption only for today; all, barring one - Sam Pitroda - who is in the US, will remain present on the next hearing. c) The National Herald case is an example of 'political vendetta' at its worst. Congress will fight the case with all its might; the grand old party has an unassailable case and has no doubts legally. d) Swamy and the ruling party of using proxy litigation to attack senior Congress leaders out of 'political malice'. e) - Citing examples of Virbhadra Singh and P Chidambaram, Singhvi said "You have seen a series since 18 months, be it Virbhadra Singh who was rudely intruded upon during the wedding of his child or a baseless allegation roping in Chidambaram and his family. This case just happens to be the next in the pattern."
The next hearing will take place on December 19.
Congress should have been more mature and utter politically correct words like ‘we have faith in judiciary’ or ‘we will abide by the law’ instead of making big tamasha.
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