National Herald case: Court rejects Vora's plea against Swamy
A court here Monday dismissed senior Congress leader Motilal Vora's plea seeking to restrain complainant Subramanian Swamy from tweeting about the National Herald case, filed by the BJP MP against Congress chief Rahul Gandhi, his mother Sonia Gandhi and others.
Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Samar Vishal rejected Vora's plea, also an accused in the case, saying there was nothing to show that the tweets caused any damage to the trial of the case, or any prejudice to the court.
Vora, in his application, had alleged that Swamy was trying to influence the court proceedings with his tweets.
The court said the tweets cited by Vora "cannot be said to interfere or obstruct the administration of justice nor can be said to prejudice the due course of any judicial proceedings, firstly because no such instance due to which the applicant can say this has either been stated in the application, nor has been put forth in the argument".
"The trial is going on and has reached at the stage of evidence, and I am unable to find anything on record nor anything has been put forth to show that these tweets may have caused any damage to the trial or any prejudice to the court," the judge said.
It said "a court cannot prohibit any person from reporting the proceedings of a case unless it is shown that the reporting is patently and malafidely false".
"The tweets may not be happily worded from the point of view of the applicant or other accused, but how they interfere in the administration of justice or are prejudicial to the defence of the accused is not clear," the court said.
The court added if the applicant considered some of the tweets as defamatory, he had appropriate remedy under law but not under the Contempt of Court Act.
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader had denied Vora's allegation and asserted that he had "every right to tweet".
Swamy, in a private criminal complaint, had accused the Gandhis and others of conspiring to cheat and misappropriate funds by paying just Rs 50 lakh, through which the Young Indian (YI) Private Limited obtained the right to recover the Rs 90.25 crore the Associate Journals Limited owed to the Congress.
Vora had earlier told the court that Swamy was indulging in "character assassination" of the accused by tweeting.
All the seven accused in the case -- Sonia and Rahul Gandhi, Vora, senior Congress leaders Oscar Fernandes, Suman Dubey and Sam Pitroda and the YI -- have denied the allegations levelled against them.
The court had summoned the accused on June 26, 2014. On December 19, 2015, it had granted bail to Sonia and Rahul Gandhi, Vora, Fernandes and Dubey, who had appeared before it pursuant to summonses.
Pitroda was also granted bail on February 20, 2016 when he appeared in the court.
Sonia and Rahul Gandhi, Vora, Fernandes, Dubey and Pitroda were summoned for alleged misappropriation of property, criminal breach of trust, cheating and criminal conspiracy.
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(With inputs from agencies.)