NEW DELHI: Accepting Congress president Sonia Gandhi’s request to postpone her questioning in the National Herald money-laundering case, the Enforcement Directorate has granted her four weeks to join the investigation. Sonia, who was supposed to depose before the agency on Thursday, wrote a letter to ED the day before seeking more time on the grounds that doctors had advised her rest following her hospitalisation on account of Covid and lung infection.
Sources said that Sonia would be asked to record her statement before the agency officials in the case related to Rs 90 crore given by Congress to Associated Journals Ltd (AJL), the publisher of the National Herald daily, in 2010-11. She was Congress chief during 2010-11. Also, Sonia and her son Rahul Gandhi are the largest shareholders of Young Indian, which took over AJL along with its assets estimated to be worth over Rs 800 crore.
Rahul has been questioned in the case for more than 50 hours over five days in the past two weeks. ED has also questioned the present Congress treasurer Pawan Bansal and YI office bearer Malikarjun Kharge. Sources said the ED’s investigations against YI and AJL began earlier this year based on a Delhi court taking cognisance of the charges levelled by BJP leader Subramaniam Swamy in 2013. The court, after ordering for trials of the Gandhis in 2015, had granted them bail.
Many Congress leaders, including party spokesperson and senior advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi and former finance minister P Chidambaram have called the case “illegal” as there was no predicate offence committed. No probe can be registered under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act unless there is a predicate offence, or an FIR filed by any enforcement agency. ED officials, have called the claims made by Congress leaders “misleading”.

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