The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has issued an order to temporarily attach properties worth Rs 751.9 crore in a money-laundering case registered under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), 2002. The investigation revealed that Associated Journals Limited (AJL) is in possession of “proceeds of crime” in the form of immovable properties spread across several cities in India such as Delhi, Mumbai and Lucknow. 661.69 crore and Young Indian (YI) has crime proceeds of Rs 90.21 crore as investment in equity shares of AJL.
Reacting to the ED’s move, Congress said it was just a “petty revenge strategy” by the BJP. In a statement, senior Congress leader Abhishek Manu Singhvi said it reflected “the BJP’s desperation to divert attention from certain defeat in the ongoing elections in each state”. Singhvi said, “There has been no transfer of any immovable property. There is no movement of money. There are no proceeds of crime. In fact, there is no complainant who claims that he has been defrauded: Not even one.”
“This is a premeditated structure of deception, falsehood and falsehood by and for the BJP to divert, distract and divert attention in the midst of the elections.
None of the BJP’s alliance partners—CBI, ED or IT—can prevent the BJP’s certain imminent defeat. The assignment of debt without transfer of any immovable property or movement of funds is being devised to justify the attachment and confiscation of the assets of a company that runs the National Herald, an eminent voice of the Indian independence movement—simply because It is associated with Congress. Party and its legacy,” the statement further read.
Congress leader Manickam Tagore said, ‘ED’s action under Mr Modi’s orders to seize the properties of National Herald is an illegal action… People of MP, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh and Telangana will give a befitting reply to PM Modi.’ ,
What is National Herald case?
The National Herald case revolves around financial transactions involving Associated Journals Limited (AJL) and entities linked to the Young Indian, Indian National Congress (INC) party. The case came into limelight when BJP leader Subramanian Swamy alleged irregularities in the loan acquisition of AJL by Young Indian, a company in which senior Congress leaders including Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi held key positions.
Swamy alleged that Young Indian obtained AJL’s loan at a significantly lower price, thereby leading to financial irregularities and misappropriation of funds. Swamy accused Congress leaders of criminal conspiracy and fraud. He claimed that Congress leaders illegally acquired properties owned by AJL, including the headquarters of National Herald in New Delhi.
Last year, Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi and other senior Congress leaders were called for questioning by the ED. However, Congress leaders have denied any misuse of funds. Tay said the transaction was legitimate and was intended to revive the National Herald newspaper.