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National Herald Case: Nothing to indicate that Motilal Vora handled financial decisions, say ED sources

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New Delhi [India], August 6 (ANI): Sources of Enforcement Directorate on Saturday said that neither Congress interim chief Sonia Gandhi, party MP Rahul Gandhi nor other Congress leaders who were questioned in the National Herald case submitted any documents to substantiate the claims that financial decisions were taken by the party's former treasurer Motilal Vora.
ED sources said that both Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi had named the Congress party's longest-serving treasurer as having taken the decision of share transfer of Associate Journal Private Limited (AJL) to Young Indian Private Limited (YIL).
Motilal Vora had passed away at the age of 93 on 21 December 2020.
Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Wednesday sealed the premises of Young Indian office at the National Herald House building in the national capital as part of its investigation with the National Herald case in which top Congress leaders are accused of violating norms.


The National Herald case pertains to the alleged financial irregularities under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) and was registered about nine months ago after a trial court took cognisance of an Income Tax department probe carried out on the basis of a private criminal complaint filed by former Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MP Subramanian Swamy in 2013.
The petitioner had approached the court alleging that the assets of Associated Journals Limited (AJL), which published the National Herald newspaper, were fraudulently acquired and transferred to Young Indian Pvt Limited (YIL), in which Congress leaders Sonia Gandhi and her son Rahul Gandhi owned 38 per cent shares each.

Swamy had alleged that the Gandhis cheated and misappropriated funds, with YIL paying only Rs 50 lakh to obtain the right to recover Rs 90.25 crore that AJL owed to Congress.
"Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi had deflected the blame on Motilal Vora during questioning," ED sources said.
However, according to sources, his name was not on YIL files or AJL documents to prove that Vora had taking any policy decisions or attended any meetings or taking calls on behalf of YIL or AJL which could prove any decision to transfer the shares was taken by him.
The said investigations are related with the National Herald case which pertains to the alleged financial irregularities under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) and was registered about nine months ago after a trial court took cognisance of an Income Tax department probe carried out on the basis of a private criminal complaint filed by former Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MP Subramanian Swamy in 2013.
The petitioner had approached the court alleging that the assets of Associated Journals Limited (AJL), which published the National Herald newspaper, were fraudulently acquired and transferred to Young Indian Pvt Limited (YIL), in which Congress leaders Sonia Gandhi and her son Rahul Gandhi owned 38 per cent shares each.
Swamy had alleged that the Gandhis cheated and misappropriated funds, with YIL paying only Rs 50 lakh to obtain the right to recover Rs 90.25 crore that AJL owed to Congress.
The investigative agency had questioned Congress interim-president Sonia Gandhi for nearly three hours on July 27. It was the third round of questioning of the senior leader in the case.
Sonia Gandhi was questioned by ED on July 26 also, where she reached accompanied by her daughter Priyanka Gandhi Vadra.
Officials said on that day, the party president's response was sought to around 30 questions regarding her involvement with the National Herald newspaper and Young Indian Pvt Ltd.
During her questioning, the Lok Sabha MP from Rae Bareli was asked about the functioning and running of the newspaper, the role of its various office bearers. Prior to that, she was also questioned by ED on July 21.
Meanwhile, in June, the ED questioned Rahul Gandhi for five days. Rahul Gandhi was questioned by the ED for over 27 hours for three straight days from June 13 to June 15 and was again summoned on June 20. On June 20, he was questioned for around 14 hours.
The Congress leader had deposed before the ED investigators in the case for the first time on June 13.
He initially sought an exemption from appearance on June 16, following which he was called on June 17. But the senior Congress leader wrote to the ED to postpone his questioning citing the illness of his mother Sonia Gandhi. The ED then allowed him to join the probe on June 20 at his request.
Leader of the Opposition of Rajya Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge on Thursday was quizzed for around eight hours by the ED office in the national capital in connection with the money laundering case involving the National Herald newspaper. (ANI)

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