National Herald Case: Know- What is National Herald Case? In which case Rahul Gandhi is being questioned

National Herald Case: The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has questioned Congress President Sonia Gandhi and party leader Rahul Gandhi in a money laundering case related to the National Herald news paper. Gandhi was summoned to appear in the first week of June. In this case, today i.e. on Monday, Rahul Gandhi reached the ED’s office with thousands of party workers from his residence in Tughlaq Lane. He was questioned in this case for a full three hours. Let us know what is this whole matter about which there is so much ruckus across the country.

What is National Herald?
National Herald is a news paper, which was started by Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru in the year 1938. The responsibility of running this news paper was with a company named ‘Associated Journals Limited’ (AJL). Congress and Gandhi family dominated this company from the beginning. After about 70 years, in 2008, this news paper had to be closed due to losses. Then the Congress gave a loan of Rs 90 crore to AJL from party funds without interest. Then Sonia and Rahul Gandhi formed a new company named ‘Young Indian’. Young Indian got 99 per cent stake in the company in lieu of loan given to Associated Journals. Sonia and Rahul Gandhi hold 38-38 per cent stake in Young Indian Company. While the rest was with Motilal Bora and Oscar Fernandes.

Why ED probe started?
The National Herald case due to which Rahul Gandhi faced ED questions started 10 years ago in 2012. When Subramanian Swamy had filed a case in this matter in the Delhi High Court. Swamy had alleged that Young Indian Private Limited had paid only Rs 50 lakh to get the right to recover Rs 90.25 crore, which AJL owed to the Congress. Apart from these two, 4 more faces were made accused in this case. Two senior Congress leaders Motilal Vora, Oscar Fernandes, journalists Suman Dubey and Sam Pitroda. Two of these accused Motilal Vora and Oscar Fernandes have passed away.

The suit, filed by Swamy, alleged that National Herald was wrongly acquired through Young India Limited Company and Congress leaders confiscated properties worth crores. Two years later, in June 2014, the court issued summons against Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi. After this, in August, the ED took cognizance of the matter and registered a case of money laundering. Sonia and Rahul Gandhi had secured bail from Delhi’s Patiala Court in 2015 after paying a personal bond of Rs 50,000 separately and the same surety amount. The next year i.e. in 2016, the Supreme Court exempted all the accused from personal appearance, but refused to quash the action.

What does ED want to know from Sonia-Rahul?
The ED summons Sonia Gandhi to appear on June 8 and Rahul Gandhi on June 13. ED officials said that the agency wants to record the statements of Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA). The ED wants to find out about the financial transactions, promoters of Young Indian and the role of Associated Journals Limited (AJL) by questioning Sonia, Rahul and senior Congress leaders.

The ED had also recently questioned Congress leaders Mallikarjun Kharge and Pawan Bansal as part of the investigation. The case was registered recently in connection with the probe into alleged financial irregularities in the Congress-backed ‘Young Indian’. The agency had registered a fresh case under criminal provisions of the PMLA after a trial court took cognizance of the Income Tax Department’s investigation against Young Indian Pvt Ltd.

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