National Herald case: ED seals Young Indian office; Congress says party 'under siege'

Vivek Mishra
Vivek MishraAug 04, 2022 | 10:34

National Herald case: ED seals Young Indian office; Congress says party 'under siege'

The ED has instructed that the premises not be opened without prior permission from the agency. (Photo: PTI)

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Wednesday (August 3) sealed the office of Young Indian Limited in the National Herald building in Delhi as part of an ongoing money laundering investigation.

ED had questioned Congress president Sonia Gandhi (in July) and her MP son Rahul Gandhi (in June) in this case at its headquarters in Delhi.

Soon after the Young India office was sealed, Delhi Police stepped up security outside the Congress headquarters. Security was also beefed up outside Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi's residences.

The ED has instructed that the premises not be opened without prior permission from the agency.

Why was the Young Indian office sealed? The ED said that the seal was put in order to "preserve the evidence". The agency said that they could not collect the evidence because authorised representatives of Young Indian were not present during the raids that were launched on Tuesday.

  • ED officials said they had emailed the summons to the principal officer/in-charge of Young Indian, which is Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge. The officials said they were seeking their attendance to open the cabins for it to carry out raids but they have not received any response.
  • The ED had on Tuesday raided a dozen locations, including the National Herald newspaper and web portal office in Herald House at Bahadur Shah Zafar Marg as part of its money laundering probe in the National Herald-AJL-Young Indian deal, reported PTI.

Congress says party 'under siege': The Congress on Wednesday alleged the party was "under siege" by the government. The party said that the government has surrounded its headquarters and the residences of party chief Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi.

  • Addressing a press conference at the party office, Congress leaders Jairam Ramesh, Ajay Maken and Abhishek Singhvi said the party will not be intimidated by this kind of "cheap and petty politics".
  • "The only sole object of this exercise is humiliation, insult and intimidation at one level and diversion, digression and sensationalism at another level. They do not want the issues of price rise, unemployment and GST to be raised in the media," Singhvi said.

What is the National Herald case? The probe is related to alleged financial irregularities in the Congress-promoted Young Indian company that owns the National Herald newspaper, published by the Associated Journals Limited (AJL).

  • The questioning of the senior Congress leaders and the Gandhis was part of the investigation to understand the shareholding pattern, financial transactions and role of the promoters of Young Indian and AJL, ED officials have said.
  • BJP MP Subramanian Swamy in 2012 had accused Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi and others of conspiring to cheat and misappropriate funds with Young Indian Pvt Ltd paying only Rs 50 lakh to obtain the right to recover Rs 90.25 crore that Associate Journals Ltd owed the Congress.
  • In 2014, the ED initiated a probe to see if there was any money laundering in the case. On September 18th, 2015, it was reported that the ED had reopened its investigation into the National Herald case, reported India Today.
  • The ED recently registered a fresh case after a trial court took cognisance of an income-tax department probe criminal complaint filed by Swamy.
Last updated: August 04, 2022 | 10:34
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