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- National Herald Case Congress Cries Foul As ED Attaches Properties Worth Rs 751.9 Crore Under PMLA
New Delhi2 hours ago
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In 2010, a new organization called Young Indian Private Limited (YIL) was formed, which took over AJL, which ran National Herald.
The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has attached assets worth Rs 751.9 crore of Young India in the National Herald case. This action has been taken against Young India associated with Congress in the case of money laundering. Sonia-Rahul have 76% stake in this company.
In this case, ED had sealed the office of Young India Company located in Herald Building, Delhi on 3 August 2022. Last year, on August 2 and 3, the ED team had raided 16 locations of National Herald including Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata from morning till late evening. This action was taken after questioning Sonia and Rahul.
ED said- Illegal property found in investigation
The investigating agency issued a statement saying that it had interrogated Sonia Gandhi, her son Rahul Gandhi and President Mallikarjun Kharge and recorded their statements. Action was taken on this basis. The ED further said that investigation revealed that Young India was in possession of illegal properties worth Rs 661.69 crore owned by Associated Journals Limited (AJL) in Delhi, Mumbai and Lucknow. Apart from this, AJL has invested illegal income of Rs 90.21 crore in it. This property has been attached.
What is National Herald case?
The National Herald case was first raised by BJP leader Subramanian Swamy in 2012. In August 2014, ED took suo motu cognizance of this matter and registered a case of money laundering. Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi and Congress’s Motilal Vora, Oscar Fernandez, Sam Pitroda and Suman Dubey were made accused in the case. Understand this entire case from the graphics below…
These allegations against Sonia and Rahul
BJP leader Subramanian Swamy alleges that Congress transferred the right to recover loan of Rs 90 crore from AJL, which runs National Herald, to Young Indian Limited (YIL) and Young Indian Limited transferred AJL’s assets worth Rs 2,000 crore to the Congress party. Acquired by paying only Rs 50 lakh.
Swamy alleges that Rahul-Sonia’s Young Indian Limited paid Rs 50 lakh to repay the loan of Rs 90 crore owed by Congress on AJL company, which runs National Herald, after which Congress paid the remaining Rs 89.50 crore from AJL. Loan waived off.
Swamy alleges that YIL got the right to acquire the properties of National Herald, including its building located in a prime location in Delhi, worth about Rs 2,000 crore, to recover its loan.
It is alleged that the assets of Young Indian Limited, which was formed in 2010 with Rs 5 lakh, increased to Rs 800 crore in a few years.
On the other hand, the Income Tax Department says that Rahul Gandhi earned Rs 154 crore from shares in Young Indian Limited. The Income Tax Department has already issued a notice to Young Indian Limited to pay tax of Rs 249.15 crore for 2011-12.
A loan of Rs 90 crore from AJL, the company that owns National Herald, was transferred to Young Indian Limited, in which Sonia-Rahul have 76% stake.
More than 100 questions were asked to Sonia in the case
In June 2022, Rahul Gandhi was interrogated for 50 hours in 5 days in the National Herald case. Then on July 21, 2022, Sonia Gandhi was questioned for 12 hours in 3 days in the National Herald case. During this, more than 100 questions were asked to him. ED had also interrogated Rahul Gandhi for more than 50 hours in five days in June.
ED had asked these questions to Sonia
In July, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi had protested against ED’s questioning of Sonia Gandhi.
Sonia-Rahul’s entry in 2010
In 2010, a new organization called Young Indian Private Limited (YIL) was formed, which took over AJL, which ran National Herald. YIL’s board of directors included Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi. Sonia and Rahul’s stake in YIL was 76% and the remaining 24% was held by Motilal Vora and Oscar Fernandez. Motilal Vora died in 2020 and Oscar Fernandez in 2021. After this, Congress transferred AJL’s loan of Rs 90 crore to YIL.
In return for repaying Congress’s loan, AJL gave 9 crore shares to Young Indian. With these 9 crore shares, Young Indian acquired 99% shares of AJL. After this, Congress waived off AJL’s loan of Rs 90 crore. Subramanian Swamy had filed a case raising questions on this deal.
Congress’s arguments on the allegations
Congress says that YIL was created for charitable purposes rather than for profit making. Congress also says that the transaction done by Young Indian Limited was not financial but commercial. Congress’s Abhishek Manu Singhvi says that when there is no transfer of property or cash then how can it be a case of money laundering.
Singhvi says that when AJL fell into loss, Congress gave financial assistance of Rs 90 crore to save it. Due to this AJL got a loan. He converted this loan into equity and the loan of Rs 90 crore was transferred to the new company Young Indian, but Young Indian is a not-for-profit company and no dividend can be paid to its shareholders and directors. Singhvi claims that this means that you cannot take a single rupee from this company.
Singhvi also claims that AJL still has rights over all the properties and printing and publisher business of National Herald as before. The only change is that the shares of AJL are owned by Young Indian, but Young Indian cannot use this money in any way. It can neither pay dividends nor earn profits.
Nehru started the National Herald newspaper
National Herald newspaper was started in 1938 by Jawaharlal Nehru along with 5 thousand freedom fighters. This newspaper was published by Associated Journal Limited (AJL). After independence, this newspaper became the mouthpiece of Congress.
AJL published this newspaper in three languages. Apart from ‘National Herald’ in English, ‘Navjeevan’ in Hindi and ‘Qaumi Awaaz’ in Urdu. Gradually the newspaper went into losses and was closed in 2008 despite a loan of Rs 90 crore from the Congress.