In a major setback on Monday, Congress president Sonia Gandhi and vice president Rahul Gandhi will have to appear before a trial court in the National Herald case, as the Delhi High Court dismissed their petition to cancel the summons. 

Justice Sunil Gaur also dismissed the pleas of Congress treasurer Motilal Vora, family friend Suman Dubey and party leader Oscar Fernandes.

The National Herald case is based on a plea filed by BJP leader Subramnian Swamy, accusing the Gandhis of irregularities in the acquisition of AJL by YIL, a company in which Sonia and Rahul own 38% each. Swamy had said the acquisition of the daily for just Rs 50 lakh amounted to cheating and breach of trust.

However, the Congress has denied all the charges and said that it did not profit from any of the properties.

"We will move the Supreme Court tomorrow morning. It is a vacuous case," said Congress' Abhishek Manu Singhvi, who appeared for the Gandhis.

The Congress legal team is working hard to stop the court appearance, which, leaders fear, will blunt the party's attack on the opposition in the middle of the Parliament session.

The newspaper, National Herald, was set up in Lucknow by Jawaharlal Nehru in 1938. The paper ceased its operations in 2008 due to financial troubles.

Reports suggest that the Congress is likely to move Supreme Court regarding the case.