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'How are your fundamental rights violated?' SC tells SubraSwamy, shunts Herald case v Gandhis to HC

The Supreme Court Tuesday declined BJP leader Subramanian Swamy’s plea for an early hearing of the plea of Congress president Sonia Gandhi and others, challenging their summoning by a trial court in alleged irregularities in acquisition of now defunct National Herald daily, and asked him to approach the Delhi high court.

A bench of Justice V Gopala Gowda and Justice R Banumathi asked Swamy how his plea for an early hearing of the plea of Gandhi and others was rooted in his fundamental rights.

Asking Swamy - who appeared in person - to satisfy the court as to how he could approach the apex court under Article 32 of the Constitution seeking an early hearing of the Congress leaders’ plea in the matter, it said: “How can you come to this court without exhausting the remedies in the high court?”

Under Article 32, a person can move the apex court for the enforcement of fundamental rights.

“How are your fundamental rights violated,” the court asked as Swamy tried to impress upon the court that the Delhi high court by by its Dec 15, 2014, order had said that it would hear the matter on day to day basis, but with change of judge, the new judge says that his hands were full with cases and he would hear the matter only after March 18.

Swamy told the apex court that the matter before the high court was in the nature of public interest, but the apex court, asking him to go back to the high court, told him that he could make this submission there.

Besides Sonia Gandhi, Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi, party treasurer Moti Lal Vora, former union minister Oscar Fernandes and Gandhi family friend Suman Dubey had moved the high court seeking quashing of the summons issued to them by a trial court on a complaint by Swamy.

Swamy has alleged that Sonia and Rahul Gandhi, as majority shareholders of Young Indian Ltd. (YIL), benefited from the acquisition of Associated Journals Ltd. (AJL) by the YIL Both hold 38 percent stakes each in the YIL

The trial court issued summons to both the Gandhis, Vora, Fernandes and Dubey June 26, 2014, which were put on hold by the high court 6 August.

The Delhi high court had on 15 December extended the interim suspension of the summons until final disposal of the matter.

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