Rahul Gandhi spent entire day at ED Office | What is National Herald Case? Know it's timeline and Facts
2022-06-14 | Priyanka Chaudhary
Recently, Enforcement Directorate (ED) summoned Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi for questioning regarding the money laundering case of the National Herald newspaper. ED wants to record the statements of Gandhis under the criminal sections of the PMLA as a case was registered under the act around 9 months ago to investigate alleged financial irregularities at Young India Limited.
What is National Herald?
It is an English newspaper that was started by the first Prime Minister of India Jawaharlal Nehru in 1938 along with the formation of its public limited publishing company The Associated Journals Limited (AJL). Navijan in Hindi and Qaumi Awaz in Urdu were the other two newspapers published by this company.
In 2008, AJL formally closed the printing and publication of all newspapers as it was suffering losses.
In 2016, AJL decided to relaunch all newspapers in a digital format.
What is the National Herald case all about?
In 2013, Subramanian Swamy, a Rajya Sabha MP of BJP, filed a private complaint in the Delhi trial court against Gandhis and others. The complaint was regarding the conspiracy to cheat and misappropriation of funds of shareholders of the Associated Journals Limited, which is the publishing company of the National Herald Newspaper. They were accused of the scam that occurred when the Associated Journals Limited (AJL) was acquired by congress-promoted company Young India Limited (YIL) and the real estate assets of AJL worth at least Rs. 2000 crore were also transferred to YIL.
In July 2014, the accused were summoned by the trial court but the Delhi High Court granted a stay on the summons.
In August 2014, an ED investigation was opened. Due to a technical problem the case was closed, then in September 2015 again the probe was reopened by ED.
In December 2015, the Patiala House Court in Delhi granted unconditional bail to all the accused parties.
In late 2020, Mr. Swamy moved to the High Court against a trial court order declining his plea to summon various documents and witnesses related to the case.
High Court in 2021 issued notices to the accused persons to reply to his plea while the trial court's proceedings stayed.
About Young India Limited:
YIL was formed in late 2010 as a Section 25 company under the Companies Act 1956. Section 8 of the Companies Act 2013 replaced Section 25 of the 1956 act. A company formed under Section 8 of the new act is a not-for-profit charitable company created solely for the promotion of commerce, art, charity, sports, or social welfare, among other things. It can only use its profits to further promote its goals and cannot pay any dividends to its shareholders.
Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi own 76% of the whole Company.
As per the court records, in 2008, AJL owned the Congress with a debt of Rs. 90 crores that the party loaned it on an interest free-basis from time to time. YIL paid just ₹50 lakh to Congress as consideration for transferring the ₹90 crore debt to itself.
Subramanian Swamy said that extending of loan by the political party for commercial purposes was illegal in itself.