Senior advocates Abhishek Manu Singhvi, Harin Raval and Ramesh Gupta appeared for the Gandhis and other accused and moved separate pleas seeking exemption from personal appearance for their clients for today only.

"We are very keen to come before the court," Singhvi told Metropolitan Magistrate Lovleen, adding, "Please give us a date of your choice and that of the convenience of Dr Subramanian Swamy."

Swamy, who has filed the case, however, told the court that there are seven accused in the case and today's date was fixed in September itself.

"Accused number 2 (Rahul Gandhi) has left for Chennai this morning," he said. The Magistrate, however, told the defence counsel to ensure that all the accused appear before the court on the next date of hearing on December 19.

"Make sure that all the accused appear on December 19. I am giving exemption from personal appearance only for today. Don't come in the morning on December 19. You come at 3 pm," the Magistrate said. During the brief hearing in the jam-packed courtroom, the court cited, "Is the judgement of the (Delhi) High Court on the net? Can I see it."

Responding to the court's query, Swamy placed a copy of the verdict of the High Court delivered yesterday before the court. During the hearing, senior counsel Ramesh Gupta told the Magistrate that accused Sam Pitroda is presently in the United States and they will try their best that he appears before the court on December 19.

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