The Enforcement Directorate on Friday last week issued fresh summons to Congress chief Sonia Gandhi to join the investigation into the National Herald case by Monday. It was later deferred by a day
New Delhi: Congress chief Sonia Gandhi, accompanied by her son Rahul Gandhi and daughter Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, arrived at the Enforcement Directorate’s Delhi office this afternoon for questioning in an alleged money laundering case linked to National Herald newspaper.
The central probe agency on Friday last week issued fresh summons to the Congress chief to join the investigation into the National Herald case by Monday. It was later deferred by a day.
She was last questioned by the Enforcement Directorate on Thursday for nearly two hours, amid strong protests by Congress leaders alleging vendetta politics by the BJP-ruled central government. Then too Priyanka Gandhi Vadra had accompanied her mother to the probe agency’s Delhi office.
Sonia Gandhi, 75, was asked over two dozen questions in the last sitting at the Enforcement Directorate office.
The questioning is linked with alleged financial irregularities in the Congress-promoted Young Indian Private Ltd, which owns National Herald newspaper.
The police have deployed a huge force and barricaded the entire 1-km stretch between her home and the Enforcement Directorate’s office in central Delhi’s Vidyut Lane.
Rahul Gandhi was also questioned by the probe agency in the same case last month for over 50 hours spready across five days.
The move to question the Gandhis started after the Enforcement Directorate last year filed a new case under the country’s anti-money laundering law. This was after a trial court heard an Income Tax Department investigation against Young Indian based on a complaint filed by BJP MP Subramanian Swamy in 2013.
Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi are among the promoters and majority shareholders in Young Indian. Like her son, the Congress chief, too, has 38 per cent shareholding.
Mr Swamy had accused the Gandhis and others of conspiring to cheat and misappropriate funds, with Young Indian paying only ₹ 50 lakh to obtain the right to recover ₹ 90.25 crore that Associate Journals Ltd owed to the Congress.
In February last year, the Delhi High Court issued notice to the Gandhis seeking their response to Mr Swamy’s allegations.
Congress leaders Mallikarjun Kharge and Pawan Bansal were also questioned by the Enforcement Directorate in the same case in April.
The Congress has said there has been no wrongdoing and Young Indian is a “not-for-profit” company established under the Companies Act, and so there was no question of money laundering.