Fri, 10 Jun 2022 10:11 PM IST
New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: Congress President Sonia Gandhi on Friday received fresh summons from the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in the National Herald case. The probe agency has asked the senior Congress leader to appear on June 23 for questioning in PMLA case.
Earlier this week, Sonia Gandhi had sought more time from the ED to appear before it as she is still suffering from Covid-19.
Sonia Gandhi, who tested positive on June 2, is yet to recover and her latest report is not Covid-negative, said Congress sources.
The ED had summoned Sonia Gandhi to appear before it on June 8 in connection with a money laundering case linked to the National Herald newspaper-AJL issue.
The ED had also summoned her son and former party chief Rahul Gandhi on June 13 for questioning in the case.
He was earlier asked by the agency to depose on June 2 but the Lok Sabha member from Wayanad constituency in Kerala sought a fresh date as he was out of country. The federal agency later asked Rahul Gandhi to appear on June 13 at its headquarters in central Delhi.
The case pertains to the probe into the alleged financial irregularities in the party-promoted Young Indian that owns the National Herald newspaper. The paper is published by Associated Journals Limited (AJL) and owned by Young Indian Pvt Limited.
Officials said the agency wants to record the statements of Rahul and Sonia Gandhi under criminal sections of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).
The questioning of the senior Congress leaders and the Gandhis is part of the ED's investigation to understand the shareholding pattern, financial transactions and role of the promoters of Young Indian and AJL, officials had said.
The members of the first family of the Congress party, including Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi, are among the promoters and shareholders of Young Indian.
The probe agency had registered a fresh case under the criminal provisions of the PMLA after a trial court here took cognizance of an Income Tax Department probe against Young Indian Pvt Ltd on the basis of a private criminal complaint filed by BJP MP Subramanian Swamy in 2013.
Swamy had accused Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi and others of conspiring to cheat and misappropriate funds with Young Indian Pvt Ltd paying only Rs 50 lakh to obtain the right to recover Rs 90.25 crore that Associate Journals Ltd owed to the Congress.
The ED summons triggered furious reactions from the Congress, which alleged that the "fake issue of AJL, (Associated Journals Limited) is an attempt by BJP's propaganda machinery to deviate, divert and digress the attention of citizens from the multifarious vital issues of inflation, falling GDP and social unrest, social divisiveness in this country".