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Rahul Gandhi to ED: Late Motilal Vora was responsible for Young Indian-Associated Journals deal

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Rahul Gandhi at the AICC headquarters before leaving for
Image Source : PTI

Rahul Gandhi at the AICC headquarters before leaving for the ED office to appear in the National Herald case, in New Delhi, Tuesday, June 14, 2022.

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi has told the Enforcement Directorate (ED) that late former Congress treasurer Motilal Vora was responsible for all the transactions related to Young Indian Pvt Limited’s acquisition of Associated Journals Ltd (AJL), sources said.

Rahul Gandhi has appeared before the ED for nearly 30 hours in the last three days for questioning under criminal sections of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) in an alleged money laundering case linked to the National Herald newspaper. He is set to appear before the agency again on Friday.

Published by Associated Journals Limited and owned by Young Indian Pvt Limited, National Herald is considered the Congress’ mouthpiece. The first family of the Congress party, including Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi, are among the promoters and shareholders of Young Indian.   

Sonia and Rahul together hold 76% stakes in Young Indian. The remaining 24% was held by Vohra and Oscar Fernandes. Vora and Fernandes passed away in 2020 and 2021, respectively.

The ED has also summoned Sonia Gandhi for questioning. The questioning of Rahul and Sonia is part of the ED’s investigation to understand the shareholding pattern, financial transactions and role of the promoters of Young Indian and AJL. Sonia Gandhi is yet to appear before the agency. She is currently undergoing treatment at Sir Ganga Ram Hospital due to post-Covid issues.

The ED had registered a fresh case under the criminal provisions of the PMLA after a trial court took cognisance of an Income Tax Department probe against Young Indian on the basis of a private criminal complaint filed by BJP MP Subramanian Swamy in 2013. Swamy had accused Sonia, Rahul and others of conspiring to cheat and misappropriate funds with Young Indian by paying only Rs 50 lakh to obtain the right to recover Rs 90.25 crore that Associate Journals Ltd owed to the Congress.

Earlier in February last year, the Delhi High Court had issued a notice to the Gandhis for their response on Swamy’s plea seeking to lead evidence in the matter before the trial court. They, however, contended in the Delhi High Court that the plea by Swamy was “misconceived and premature”. The other accused in this case filed by Swamy are Suman Dubey and technocrat Sam Pitroda.

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