National Herald case: Rahul Gandhi to rejoin ED probe for third consecutive day today

15 June, 2022 | Pravina Srivastava

ED asked Congress leader Rahul Gandhi to rejoin the probe into an alleged money laundering case involving the National Herald newspaper

For the third day in a row, the Enforcement Directorate asked Congress leader Rahul Gandhi to rejoin the probe into an alleged money laundering case involving the National Herald newspaper.

On Tuesday, the former Congress chief was questioned by the ED for the second day in a row. On Monday, the ED interrogated Rahul Gandhi for about ten hours. According to official sources, the Congress leader was faced with many documents compiled by the ED as evidence obtained so far in the case to get his perspective after the Union government withdrew the Gandhi family’s Special Protection Group cover in 2019.

According to sources, Rahul Gandhi was questioned extensively regarding the Gandhi family’s ownership of Young Indian Private Limited (YIL) and its shareholding pattern in Associated Journals Limited (AJL), the business that publishes the National Herald daily.

ED investigators have also asked Rahul Gandhi to explain the circumstances behind AJL’s acquisition by YIL in 2010, which made YIL the owner of all assets owned by the National Herald newspaper.

The AJL published the National Herald, which was founded by India’s first Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru. In 2010, the AJL was taken over by a newly-floated YIL, which included Suman Dubey and Sam Pitroda as directors, both of whom were Gandhi supporters.

Subramanian Swamy, a leader of the Bharatiya Janata Party, accused Sonia Gandhi, her son Rahul Gandhi, and others of conspiring to defraud and misappropriate funds in a complaint filed in the Delhi High Court.

Officials familiar with the investigation say Rahul Gandhi is being questioned about YIL’s takeover of the AJL, which the Gandhis own shares in. The Congressman is being questioned under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act’s criminal provisions (PMLA).

ED is also said to have documented Rahul Gandhi’s comments about the YIL’s formation, the National Herald’s operations, and financial transfers within the news media establishment.

Meanwhile, ED is also looking into financial transactions and the participation of party officials in the operation of AJL and YIL.

AJL publishes the National Herald, which is owned by YIL. The ED will also collect a written statement from Rahul Gandhi under Section 50 of the PMLA.

Mallikarjun Kharge and Pawan Bansal, both members of the Congress, were previously questioned in the matter. Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi’s mother, will appear before the ED on June 23. Following post-Covid problems, she was brought to the Ganga Ram Hospital on Sunday.