National Herald case: ED asks Sonia Gandhi to appear before July end

Enforcement Directorate has asked Congress President Sonia Gandhi To record her statement with the agency in late July after accepting her plea to adjudicate her statement in a money-laundering case involving the National Herald newspaper, officials said on Thursday.

A second summon was issued to her by the agency for June 23, but the 75-year-old Congress leader could not keep the date as she was “strictly advised to take rest at home after being hospitalized due to Covid and lung infection”. .

Sources said the federal agency has postponed his questioning in the case for about four weeks and now he has been asked to appear sometime in the last week of July. Gandhi was first issued a notice to appear on June 8, but after his positive report came COVID-19The summons was issued on 23 June.

The Congress President was on Monday discharged from a private hospital in Delhi, where he was admitted. coronavirus-related complications. Days after he tested positive for COVID-19 on June 2, he was admitted to the hospital on June 12.

His son and Congress MP Rahul Gandhi The agency has interrogated for about 54 hours in the same case in five days.

The probe pertains to alleged financial irregularities in Congress-promoted Young Indian Pvt Ltd, which owns the National Herald newspaper.

The ED had recently taken the initiative to question the Gandhi family after registering a fresh case under criminal provisions of the PMLA after a trial court here ordered an inquiry against Young Indian on the basis of a private criminal complaint filed by the Income Tax Department. had taken cognizance of. BJP MP Subramanian Swamy in 2013.

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Sonia and Rahul Gandhi are among the promoters and majority shareholders of Young Indian. Like his son, the Congress President also holds 38 per cent stake.

Swamy had accused Gandhi and others of conspiracy to commit fraud and misappropriation of funds, in which Young Indian had paid only Rs 50 lakh to obtain the right to recover Rs 90.25 crore, which is owned by Associated Journals Limited (AJL). ) was owed to Congress.

In February last year, the Delhi High Court issued notice to the Gandhi family for its response to Swamy’s plea, seeking to produce evidence in the case before the trial court.

The ED had questioned Congress leaders Mallikarjun Kharge and Pawan Bansal in this case in April.

The Congress has accused the Center of misusing investigative agencies to target opposition leaders and termed the entire action as “political vendetta”.