Amid protests, Rahul Gandhi appears before ED in National Herald case
New Delhi, June 13, 2022
Amid protests, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Monday appeared before the Enforcement Directorate (ED) office in the national capital in response to a summons from the agency in connection with the National Herald case.
As heavy security was deployed due to the Congress protests, he reached the ED office located in Dr APJ Abdul Kalam Road at around 11.30 a.m. via the Moti Lal Nehru Marg.
Currently, a team of elite ED officials are questioning him in connection with the case.
The Congress leader was also accompanied by his sister Priyanka Gandhi Vadra.
Rahul Gandhi was summoned to appear before the ED on June 2 but couldn't as he was abroad.
"Rahul Gandhi was summoned to appear before the probe agency on June 2 but he sought some more time to join the investigation as he was abroad," said an official.
The ED had then issued a second notice for June 13.
Meanwhile, Congress leaders and party workers protested outside the ED office as their leader appeared for questioning.
But the Delhi Police used mild force and forcibly removed the protesters who were stopped at least 1 km before the ED office.
The police had placed several barricades to close Dr APJ Abdul Kalam Road.
The Congress workers sat in front of the barricades and raised slogans in favour of their leader and against the present dispensation at the Centre.
Three senior officials of the ED are learnt to be questioning the Congress leader.
"The team consists of two Assistant Directors and one Deputy Director," said the official.
The ED had summoned Rahul Gandhi and party chief Sonia Gandhi in connection with the National Herald case for allegedly misappropriating funds.
Sonia Gandhi will appear before the financial probe agency on June 23.
But what is the National Herald case?
The genesis of the controversy started with the acquisition of shares of Associated Journals Limited (AJL) on January 26, 2011.
The AJL was incorporated as a public limited company on November 20, 1937 under the Indian Companies Act, 1913, for the purpose of publication of newspapers in different languages. AJL started publishing newspapers such as National Herald in English, Navjivan in Hindi and Quami Awaz in Urdu.
The publication was suspended on various occasions due to financial difficulties and certain labour problems.
On April 2, 2008, the newspaper was closed.
The properties were allotted for carrying out newspaper business and publication of newspapers in different languages. However, it was also allowed to let out these properties on rent to cater to its publication business post-closure of the newspaper.
The office of AJL was shifted from Lucknow to Delhi on September 1, 2010 at its Delhi property situated at 5A, Herald House, Bahadurshah Zafar Marg, New Delhi.
In this chain of events, the All India Congress Committee (AICC), an apex body of the Indian National Congress, had advanced loans to AJL from time to time.
In other words, the AICC assigned the loan outstanding in the books of AJL at Rs 50,00,000 to Young Indian.
Further, almost 99.99 per cent shares of AJL were transferred to Young Indian.
On December 13, 2010, in the first Managing Committee meeting of Young Indian, Rahul Gandhi was appointed as director.
In a nutshell, the National Herald case pertains to the assignment of a Rs 90 crore loan advanced by the Congress party to Young Indian for a consideration of Rs 50 lakh.
It has been alleged that there was a misappropriation of assets of over Rs 2,000 crore.