National Herald Case: Exploring the ED’s ₹751 Crore Asset Attachment

National Herald Case
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National Herald Case, Recent developments in the lengthy investigation of the National Herald newspaper, which is operated by the Congress party, include the attachment by the Enforcement Directorate on Tuesday of assets valued at ₹751 crore that are connected to the newspaper’s publisher, Associated Journals Limited (AJL), and its parent firm, Young Indian Limited (YIL).

The Attached Assets: Unveiling the Financial Ties

National Herald Case, The investigation agency has attached three immovable assets: the Herald House in Mumbai, the Nehru Bhawan in Kaiserbagh, Lucknow, and the National Herald office in Delhi’s ITO. “Young Indian (YI) is in possession of proceeds of crime to the tune of ₹90.21 crore in the form of investment in equity shares of the AJL, and Associated Journals Ltd. (AJL) is in possession of proceeds of crime in the form of immovable properties spread across many cities such as Delhi, Mumbai, and Lucknow to the tune of ₹661.69 crore,” the ED stated in a statement.

What is the National Herald Case?

National Herald Case, Jawaharlal Nehru founded and edited the National Herald before to becoming the first Prime Minister of India. The paper went out of business in 2008 after accruing a debt that was purportedly unpaid—more than ₹90 crore.

Senior BJP leader Subramanian Swamy accused Rahul Gandhi and Sonia Gandhi of criminally misappropriating funds in 2012 and of establishing YI in 2010 to use party funds to purchase the debt of the AJL. In his complaint, Swamy claimed that the AJL owed the Congress ₹90.25 crore, of which the Young Indian business only paid ₹50 lakh to appropriate. No political organisation is permitted to undertake financial business with a third party under the Income Tax Act.

Additionally, Swamy claimed that the Gandhi family had committed fraud by using land granted to AJL for the sole purpose of publishing newspapers to operate a passport office, generating millions of rupees in rental income.

In addition to Rahul and Sonia Gandhi, the complaint also names businessman Sam Pitroda, journalist Suman Dubey, and late Congressmen Motilal Vohra and Oscar Fernandes.

ED’s Probe Since 2016: Unraveling Financial Transactions

National Herald Case, The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) matter was taken up by the financial investigative agency, and the ED began looking into the AJL and the involvement of several Congressmen.

The agency claims that the accused—which includes Motilal Vora and the former chief minister of Haryana, Bhupinder Singh Hooda—’used proceeds of crime’ by pledging land that was improperly granted to AJL in Panchkula, Haryana, in order to obtain a loan from a Delhi-based Syndicate Bank branch for the construction of a building in Mumbai’s Bandra neighbourhood.

Congress Accuses BJP of ‘Political Vendetta’

National Herald Case, According to the Congress, the YIL was established “with the aim of charity” rather than for financial gain. It has called the situation a “strange case of alleged money laundering without any money” and accused the BJP of having a “political vendetta.”

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