Mallikarjun  Kharge
Mallikarjun KhargeIANS

Kharge questioned in National Herald case, can be summoned again

New Delhi, April 11, 2022

Mallikarjun Kharge, senior Congress leader and Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha, was on Monday questioned by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in connection with a Prevention of Money Laundering case pertaining to the National Herald case.

Kharge had reached the ED headquarters in Lutyen's Delhi at around 11 a.m where a team of officials questioned him.

He was later allowed to go by the probe agency. Kharge did not speak to the media and the ED also did not issue any statement in this respect.

According to the Income Tax investigation, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi filed his income tax report on July 27, 2011 in which he did show a growth of Rs 68 lakhs through property and other sources. In 2015 the Income Tax Department moved a plea of tax evasion against Rahul Gandhi and others. The 99.1 percent equity of Associated Journals Limited was transferred to Young Indian where Gandhi was one of the directors.

The report said that AJL was an unlisted company which publishes the National Herald, Navjivan and an Urdu daily.

The IT department had said that Gandhi had shares of YI, even when he filed his income tax return (ITR) in 2011 he was holding its shares. Despite this Rahul Gandhi did not show that he was having shares of YI in his ITR.

The IT department had accused Gandhi of knowingly hiding the fact that he was having shares of YI and was holding the post of director.

The All India Congress Committee gave a loan of Rs 90.21 crore to AJL which was later transferred to YI as a Rs 50 lakh loan. It was thus a matter of tax evasion. Later it was also found in the investigation that 9,02,168,980 shares of AJL having a value of Rs 10 each were auctioned to YI.

The AJL had properties across India, in Delhi, Mumbai, Patna, Panchkula, Lucknow. And YI became the owner of these properties after getting the shares of AJL.

This Young India company was incorporated on 23 November 2010 with a capital value of Rs five lakh. On December 13, 2010, Gandhi became one of the directors of YI.

Sonia Gandhi and her son Rahul Gandhi were jointly holding 76 percent shares of YI whereas 12 percent shares were given to Motilal Vora and Oscar Fernandes was having the rest 12 percent shares.

According to the Income Tax Department, as per the shares of YI, Gandhi's total earned income was Rs 154 crore and not only Rs 68 lakh.

During the investigation Vora and Fernandes passed away.

Kharge is one of the trustees. The CBI had lodged a case and later the ED initiated a money laundering probe on the basis of the FIR lodged by the CBI.

Sources in the ED said that Kharge can be summoned again.


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