Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi
Congress party chief Sonia Gandhi and vice-president of Congress Rahul Gandhi: Still there is something to cheer about?Reuters

Congress chief Sonia Gandhi and vice-president Rahul Gandhi got temporary relief after their hearing in the National Herald case that was due to be held on Thursday was pushed to 13 August. 

Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi had received summons from a Delhi magistrate court on 26 June in connection with the National Herald land case, which allegedly involves misappropriation of funds and grabbing of property worth ₹2,000 crore.

Apart from the two, the court also issued summons to five other leaders from the party, as per reports. Congress leaders Sam Pitroda, Oscar Fernandes and Motilal Vora are among those who have been asked to appear before the court through summons, based on a private complaint filed by Bharatiya Janata Party leader Subramanian Swamy.

They had all been summoned to be present in court on 7 August, but the hearing has now been postponed.

"I have found prima facie evidence against all the accused. The court has directed them to appear before it on August 7," Metropolitan magistrate Gomati Manocha was quoted saying while issuing the summons.

Swamy told the media that Sonia and Rahul's complicity in the National Herald case, a newspaper that was established in 1938 by Jawaharlal Nehru and was shut down in 2008, was evident through their signatures on the papers.

"They (Congress leaders) commited a criminal breach of trust. They appropriated at zero cost thousands of crores of property of the National Herald company," Swamy told Times Now channel.

Swamy had accused the Congress leaders of grabbing ₹2,000 crore worth of property that belonged to the National Herald newspaper by using fraudulent papers. He had also accused them of violating the lease condition by letting out a portion of the property to a passport division.

The BJP leader was reported saying that if found guilty, the mother-son duo could face jail term of at least seven years or a maximum of life sentence.

Rahul had earlier threatened to file a defamation case against Swamy when the BJP leader had levelled the charges, as per reports. The Gandhi scion had termed Swamy's allegations as "scandalous abuse" and as "utterly false, baseless and defamatory."

Swamy had also alleged that the Gandhis had set up a private company called 'Young Indians' and illegally acquired the Associated Journals, a public limited company set up by Nehru.