New Delhi: The Enforcement Directorate summoned Congress president Sonia Gandhi and her MP son Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday for questioning in a money laundering case linked to the National Herald newspaper, officials said.
The case was registered recently to probe alleged financial irregularities in the party-promoted Young Indian that owns the National Herald newspaper. The agency officials said that they want to record the statements of Sonia and Rahul Gandhi under criminal sections of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA). The National Herald is published by Associated Journals Limited (AJL) and owned by Young Indian Pvt Limited.
The agency recently questioned senior Congress leaders Mallikarjun Kharge and Pawan Bansal as part of the investigation. The I-T probe against the Congress leaders arose from the investigation into a private criminal complaint filed by BJP leader Subramanian Swamy before a trial court in Delhi in 2013. The complaint had alleged cheating and misappropriation of funds on part of Gandhis in the acquisition of the newspaper.
Swami had alleged that the Gandhis acquired properties owned by National Herald by buying over the newspaper’s erstwhile publishers through Young Indian in which they have an 86% stake. In the complaint before the trial court, Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi and others have been accused of misappropriating funds by paying just Rs 50 lakh, through which Young Indian had obtained the right to recover Rs 90.25 crore that AJL owed to the Congress.