As it happened: Sonia, Rahul granted bail

December 19, 2015 10:07 am | Updated November 17, 2021 05:02 am IST - NEW DELHI

Central Delhi appeared to be in the grips of a security alert especially in the areas around the Patiala House District Courts Complex and the Congress party headquarters at Akbar Road, as party president Sonia Gandhi and vice-president Rahul Gandhi are set to appear at the courts in the National Herald case.

The two leaders, and other four accused, have been granted bail by the magistrates' court.

The Congress > has accused the BJP-led NDA government of conducting a “political vendetta” and unfairly targeting its leaders by using “proxy litigation” in the case to divert people’s attention from “failures” in governance.

3:51 pm: Manmohan Singh: "The Congress party unitedly supports Sonia and Rahul Gandhi. We stand for certain ideals and nobody can sway the party from the path."

3:50 pm: I respect the law, says Rahul Gandhi. "Modi think by filing false cases, the Opposition will bow down. But we will continue to fight for the under-previleged."

3:49 pm: Our fight for the poor will continue, says Sonia

3:48 pm: Government deliberately targeting us, says Sonia

3:45 pm: Sonia Gandhi addresses the press.

3:32 pm : Sonia and Rahul just arrived to AICC. They entered the office building to meet the MPs

3:31 pm: Senior congress leaders P Chidambaram, Ghulam Nabi Azad, Anand Sharma, Ambika Soni, Mani Shankar Aiyar Salman Khurshid — all standing in AICC courtyard waiting for the Gandhis.

Priyanka Vadra and senior Congress leaders leave the Patiala House court after the Gandhis and others get bail on Saturday. Photo: Sandeep Saxena

3:30 pm: Ghulam Nabi Azad stood surety for Oscar Fernandes.

3:27 pm: Priyanka Vadra stood surety for Rahul Gandhi, A.K. Antony for Sonia Gandhi

3:26 pm : Ajay Maken took surety for Motilal Vora, Mallikarjun Kharge took surety for Suman Dubey.

3:20 pm: Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi to address the media shortly.

3:18 pm: The accused sought bail and got it. No exemption from appearance sought, says Sibal. The Gandhis and others are likely to appear before the court on Feb. 20, 2016.

3:15 pm: Subramanian Swamy asked for travel restrictions to be placed on the accused but the judge declined that, says Kapil Sibal

3:11 pm: Sam Pitroda did not appear today citing health issues and the court granted exemption to him.

3:10 pm: Minutes after walking into Patiala House court, Sonia and Rahul Gandhi hurriedly leave after being granted bail

3:09 pm: Court posts the trial for February 20, 2016 at 2pm

3:07 pm: Other four accused, Motilal Vora, Oscar Fernandes, Sam Pitroda and Suman Dubey, also get bail on the same condition

3:06 pm: Sonia and Rahul get bail on furnishing personal bond of Rs.50,000 and one surety each.

3:05 pm: Loud sloganeering at AICC: Lok tantra key hatyaro doob maro doob maro (Murderers of democracy )

3:03 pm: Subramanian Swamy demands bailable warrant against Sam Pitroda for non appearance,also opposes bail for Gandhis

3:00 pm: Arguments begin in Patiala House Court

2:51 pm: Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi arrive at Patiala House Court amid chaos.

2:50 pm: Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is likely to stand surety for the Gandhis, reports Nistula Hebbar

Security personnel outside Patiala District Court Complex. Photo: Sandeep Saxena

2:30 pm: Top Congress leaders Ghulam Nabi Azad, Sheila Dikshit , Meira Kumar accompany Priyanka Gandhi

2:20 pm: Kapil Sibal appearing for Sonia Gandhi had also reached Patiala House Court.

2:10 pm: Subramanian Swamy has reached Patiala House Court

1:56 pm: Priyanka Gandhi Vadra reaches Ghulam Nabi Azad's residence.

1:54 pm: Congress MLA V.S. Rathore to represent Sam Pitroda in court today. Pitroda is unwell and undergoing treatment in the USA.

1:48 pm: It is clear that the CBI and ED are being misused to target the Congress: Sachin Pilot

1.46 pm: Robert Vadra confident that truth will prevail. "My full support to my mother-in-law and brother-in-law," he said. > Read

1:41 pm: The way the Congress is burning effigies of the PM, shows their height of intolerance: BJP

1:37 pm: Congress workers instructed to stay away from the court. They have been asked to stay at AICC headquarters. Sonia and Rahul will address them after the hearing.

1:31 pm: Congress shouldn't politicise corruption. Instead of blaming us, they should answer the courts, says the BJP.

1:29 pm: Mallikarjun Kharge says if the Congress wanted to politicise the 'National Herald' case they would have mobilised workers from Kashmir to Kanyakumari but didn't; and we respect the judiciary.

1:28 pm: Before elections, the BJP had given a call for Congress-free India, now they are trying to have a Opposition-free India: Congress

1:26 pm: Congress leaders' meeting at Ghulam Nabi Azad's residence to begin shortly.

1:16 pm: Ghulam Nabi Azad says the Congress knew from day one that Mr. Swamy and the BJP were working closely in the National Herald case; otherwise, why would Mr. Swamy get a govt. accommodation and 'Z' security status.

1:14 pm: The BJP wants to finish the entire Opposition, not just Congress: Ghulam Nabi Azad

1:11 pm: We have faith in judiciary and in law of the country, we will get justice: Ghulam Nabi Azad

1:09 pm: The Centre is trying to destabilise the Arunachal govt., alleges Mr. Azad.

1:07 pm: The BJP govt. Prime Minister Narendra Modi are targeting the Congress, says Ghulam Nabi Azad.

1:02 pm: "We will ensure there is no obstruction near the court today and people are not inconvenienced," says M.K. Meena, Delhi Police.

1:00 pm: Congress workers stage protest in Delhi, Varanasi, Nagpur, Jaipur, Bengaluru.

12:50 pm: " Politics of vendetta & desperate malicious attempts of defamation will not be believed," says Robert Vadra.

12:45 pm: My full support to my mother in law and brother in law: Robert Vadra in a Facebook post

12:40 pm: Congress workers led by Sachin Pilot protest in Jaipur.

12:25 pm:

11:35 am: He says since his party leadership has faith and respect the court processes, workers also have been advised not to gather outside the court.

Security personnel outside Congress president Sonia Gandhi's residence in New Delhi on Saturday. Photo: V. Sudershan

11:30 am: “It’s a political vendetta led by, I am saying with a sense of responsibility, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Swamy is only a small cog in this entire wheel of conspiracy,” Congress spokesperson Surjewala alleges.

Top developments:

1 The mother-son duo are to appear before the magistrates court at 3 p.m.
2 Congress sources said that party MPs, AICC office bearers and Congress Working Committee (CWC) members will be gathering at the party headquarters by 1 p.m. in a show of solidarity with their leaders,
3 After the appearance at court it is expected that both leaders will address the media at the party headquarters.
4 The BJP meanwhile is sticking to its stand that this is a matter dealing with the judicial process.
5 Officers on Friday said that the enhanced security was keeping in mind that the mother-son duo feature in the list of Special Protection Group (SPG) protected VIPs.
6 Teams from SPG have already conducted reconnaissance of the court premises and had meetings with the Delhi Police officers to chalk out an overall security plan.
7 Meanwhile, extra security has also been provided to the petitioner in the case, former Union Minister Subramanian Swamy.
8 The Government has decided to allot government accommodation to Mr. Swamy on security considerations.
9 Sources informed that CCA has taken into consideration that Mr. Swamy is a Z-category protectee with CRPF cover and there is no place at his present place of residence for deployment of armed guards.
10 According to the complainant, senior BJP leader Subramanian Swamy, the accused including Congress leaders Motilal Vora, Oscar Fernandes, former editor Suman Dubey and tech guru Sam Pitroda — “fraudulently” acquired Associated Journals Ltd. (AJL), publisher of the now-defunct daily, National Herald , and transferred its assets worth crores of rupees to another company, Young Indian.

(With inputs from Shubhomoy Sikdar and Mehboob Jeelani)

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