National Herald case: Everything you need to know about it
Sonia Gandhi will appear before the ED on June 8, while Rahul Gandhi has been summoned on June 2.
The Enforcement Directorate, on Wednesday, has summoned Congress interim president Sonia Gandhi and leader Rahul Gandhi in connection with a money-laundering probe. Sonia Gandhi will appear before the ED on June 8, while Rahul Gandhi has been summoned on June 2.
About the National Herald case
The National Herald case involves the alleged misappropriation of over 2,000 crores in assets in an equity transaction. Jawaharlal Nehru and other freedom fighters founded the newspaper National Herald in 1938. Associated Journals Limited was the first to publish it. However, the paper went out of business in 2008, despite a 90-crore loan from Congress to revive it.
Young Indian Pvt Ltd took over Associated Journals Limited in 2010, with Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi on the board of directors. Subramanian Swamy, a BJP leader, filed a complaint in 2012 accusing Congress leaders of deception and breach of trust in the acquisition of AJL by YIL. No political organisation may engage in financial transactions with a third party under the Income Tax Act.
Swami claimed that Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi took over the assets to profit. He also claimed that YIL only paid Rs 50 lakh for the right to recover the Rs 90 crore owed to the party by AJL, implying that Congress wrote off the remaining Rs 89.5 crores.
Since 2016, the ED has been investigating AJL and the roles of various Congress leaders after taking cognisance of a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) case as it cannot act on its own.
Following the agency, the accused, including former Haryana chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda and late Congress leader Motilal Vora, 'used proceeds of crime' in the form of land illegally allotted to AJL in Haryana's Panchkula and pledged it to obtain a loan from a Syndicate Bank branch in Delhi to construct a building in Mumbai's Bandra area. The ED attached the property, valued at Rs 16.38 crore, in 2020.
As per Congress, YIL was founded 'for the purpose of charity' and not for profit. The transactions were 'commercial' rather than financial, as per the party. "There has been no transfer of property or cash; how can there be a money laundering case?" said Abhishek Singhvi.