ED Raids Delhi Office of National Herald Amid Protests by Congress Workers

The ED is also investigating Congress interim president Sonia Gandhi and MP Rahul Gandhi in the case.
The Quint
India
Updated:
Herald House in New Delhi. 
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(Photo: PTI)
Herald House in New Delhi. 
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The Enforcement Directorate on Tuesday, 2 August, conducted raids at the office of the Congress-linked newspaper National Herald, amid a corruption probe, in which it is also investigating interim Congress president Sonia Gandhi and MP Rahul Gandhi.

Raids are being conducted at 12 locations in Delhi, including the 'Herald House' office in Central Delhi's Bahadur Shah Zafar Marg, news agency PTI reported.

Raids were also carried out at various locations in Kolkata, Mumbai, and Lucknow.

Officials indicated that the searches were being carried out under the criminal sections of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) to "gather additional evidence with regard to the trail of funds."

Congress Workers Stage Protest Outside Delhi's Herald House

This comes days after Sonia Gandhi was questioned in connection with the money laundering case on 27 July. The Congress chief was summoned for interrogation in the case on three separate days.

Before that, in June, her son Rahul Gandhi was questioned for over 50 hours in the same case.

Congress workers, meanwhile, staged a protest outside the Herald House in Delhi amid the raids.

Congress MP Jairam Ramesh called the raid on Herald House an "attack against India’s principal opposition – Indian National Congress."

The Congress also condemned the raid on the newspaper's office.

Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury said that instead of trying to get back thousands of crores "pocketed" by Nirav Modi and Mehul Choksi, the government was trying to "frame and intimidate the Opposition."

"We know government's strategy: to anyhow frame and intimidate the Opposition. DHFL caused a loss of Rs 34,615 crore; from Mehul Choksi to Nirav Modi, they pocketed thousands of crores. Is the government worried about it? Have they tried to get it back?" the party leader asked.

ED Is a 'Weapon of Mass Destruction,' Says Karti Chidambaram

Congress MP Karti Chidambaram, meanwhile, called the ED a "weapon of mass destruction" and claimed that the National Herald's transactions are always added to accounting books.

"ED was weaponised before, now after SC judgement, it's become a weapon of mass destruction. They'll go overboard in raids, summons and arrests... ridiculous that they'd raid the premises of a publication whose transactions are anyway captured in the books of accounts," he was quoted as saying by ANI.

He further said that the agency's actions were being carried out for "sensationalism" and at the behest of the BJP.

"This is only for sensationalism, for the voyeuristic pleasure of certain people...and for the discomfort it'll create to people in office and organisation. ED will be known as the hatchet agency of this BJP government," Chidambaram added.

What Is the National Herald Case?

The ED had registered a case to probe alleged financial irregularities in the party-promoted group Young Indian, which owns the National Herald newspaper.

The ED wanted to record the statements of Sonia and Rahul Gandhi under criminal sections of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).

The summons to the Gandhis came after the probe agency questioned Congress leaders Mallikarjun Kharge and Pawan Bansal in relation to the case.

The questioning of the senior Congress leaders and the Gandhis is part of the ED's investigation to understand the shareholding pattern, financial transactions, and role of the promoters of Young Indian and AJL, officials had said.

The agency registered a fresh case under the criminal provisions of the PMLA after a trial court in Delhi took cognisance of an Income Tax Department probe against Young Indian Pvt Ltd on the basis of a private criminal complaint filed by Bharatiya Janata Party MP Subramanian Swamy in 2013.

(With inputs from PTI and ANI.)

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

Published: 02 Aug 2022,12:08 PM IST

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