New Delhi: Enforcement Directorate (ED) issued fresh summons to Congress President Sonia Gandhi on Monday to depose before it on July 21 for questioning in the National Herald newspaper linked money laundering case. Mrs Gandhi had sought the postponement of the agency’s previous June 23 appearance notice on the grounds that the doctors had "strictly advised her to rest at home following her hospitalisation on account of Covid and lung infection."
The ED had accepted Mrs Gandhi’s request for a deferral of her questioning and had asked her to record her statement with the agency in the last week of July. The probe agency in its first summon to Mrs Gandhi had asked her to join the questioning on June 8 but she reported positive for Covid.
Interestingly, Mrs Gandhi, who is also a member of the Lok Sabha, will have to appear before the ED during the Monsoon Session of Parliament.
Last month, the ED had questioned her son and Congress leader Rahul Gandhi for five days. Several Congress leaders and party workers had protested against the questioning and termed it a "political vendetta". Sources say that the ED is looking into the manner in which the Gandhis were made the directors of the new company, Young Indian Private Limited. Also, how the entire loan of Associated Journals Limited AJL worth Rs 90.21 crore was written off for a paltry Rs 50 lakh after Young India came into existence.
The Congress says that Young Indian Private Limited is a section 25 company, which means that no money can be taken out to benefit its shareholders. The party asked, "Which is the 'scheduled offence' under PMLA that has triggered an investigation by ED? Which police agency has registered an FIR in respect of the scheduled offence? Where is the FIR?"
Responding to several charges in the public domain regarding the National Herald case, Congress leader and senior advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi said that a law which the Supreme Court established in 1955 that a shareholder of a company does not own the assets of that company. If I am a shareholder in your company, I don’t own the assets, which that company owns....