New Delhi: The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Tuesday conducted searches at multiple locations in the national capital including Congress party-owned National Herald newspaper. The ED raids were reportedly in connection with the money laundering investigation.
The searches were also conducted at the Herald House office located at Bahadur Shah Zafar Marg, ITO. Herald House in the building that houses the newspaper office and is the registered address for its publisher Associated Journals Limited (AJL).
The AJL is currently under the ambit of ED probe for alleged money laundering, during its acquisition by the Young Indian, a firm owned by the Gandhi family.
The development comes in the backdrop of ED’s high-profile questioning of Congress President Sonia Gandhi and her son Rahul Gandhi. Sonia was grilled by the investigative agency for 3 days while Rahul was questioned for 5 days in alleged case of money laundering.
Apart from them, Congress leaders Mallikarjun Kharge & Pawan Bansal have also been under ED lens over alleged financial irregularities in change of ownership of the newspaper.
The Gandhis were grilled about the circumstances under which the AJL was transferred to Gandhis-owned Young Indian in 2010, which in turn made them the owner of assets owned by the National Herald newspaper. The multi-crore deal was reportedly executed for a very small amount, thus making room for financial irregularity.
The case was filed by BJP MP Subramnian Swamy in 2013. In the complaint, Swamy had alleged misappropriation of funds by the Gandhis while acquiring the newspaper. Sonia and Rahul are currently on bail, granted by the trial court. In the complaint, the Gandhis have been accused of misappropriating funds by paying Rs 50 lakh for Yong Indian and getting the ‘ownership’ of AJL whose market price stood at more than Rs 90.25 crore.