Congress Interim President Sonia Gandhi, who recently tested positive for COVID and is undergoing isolation, has sought a 3-week time from Enforcement Directorate to appear for questioning in a money laundering case in connection with the National Herald case.
Notably, Sonia Gandhi was supposed to be questioned at the ED office in Delhi on Wednesday along with Rahul Gandhi, however, owing to her illness, she skipped the summons issued by the Agency. According to the sources, the Congress president has reached out to the ED as she has yet not tested negative for the virus. She has cited the advice of the doctors to take a rest.
Sonia Gandhi had tested positive for COVID on June 2 and was supposed to appear before the ED on June 8.
“She is improving but is still COVID positive and Doctors have instructed her to take rest. The medical reports of June 2 and June 7 have also been sent to the ED and three-week time has been sought while the leader is yet to get a reply on it and to get a fresh date for the appearance,” said the sources.
Although Sonia Gandhi and her son Rahul Gandhi have also been summoned to join the investigation on June 13.
He was earlier summoned to Join the investigation but he was out of the country and later he was given a fresh date of June 13 to join the probe.
Meanwhile, the Congress party is alleging that it’s a “political vendetta” and the case has no grounds for investigation.
ED’s move followed the questioning of senior Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge and Congress Treasurer Pawan Bansal in April this year in New Delhi in connection with its money laundering probe into the National Herald case.
The agency then recorded the statements of both the Congress leaders under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA). The National Herald is published by Associated Journals Limited (AJL) and owned by Young Indian Private Limited (YIL). While Kharge is the CEO of YIL, Bansal is the Managing Director of AJL.
The ED is currently investigating the shareholding pattern and financial transactions as well as the role of party functionaries in the functioning of the AJL and YIL.
The YIL promoters include Congress President Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi.
BJP MP Subramanian 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 the Congress.
He had filed a complaint with a Delhi court earlier. Following the court taking cognizance of an Income Tax Department probe against YIL on Swamy’s petition, the ED also registered a fresh case under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).