The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has permanently attached properties worth 64 crore belonging to Associated Journals Limited in Gurugram. This move is being seen as a major blow to the Gandhis.
The ED investigation under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) Act has revealed that the plot number C-17, sector 6, Panchkula was allotted to the AJL in the year 1982 as per the request of the company to start the Nav-Jivan newspaper.
As the AJL did not comply with the terms and conditions of the allotment, the estate officer, HUDA, Panchkula vide order dated 30.10.1992 ordered to resume the said Plot on the ground that the allottee i.e. AJL violated the requisite terms and conditions of the allotment letter by not starting the construction and completing the same within stipulated period.
The National Herald case was closed in 2015, but was re-opened by the ED. The case filed by politician Subramanian Swamy in Delhi court alleged that Associated Journals Limited (AJL) took an interest-free loan of ₹90.25 crore from Indian National Congress.
It is alleged that the loan was not repaid. A closely held company, Young Indian, was incorporated in November 2010 with a capital of ₹50 lakh and it acquired almost all the shareholding of AJL and all its properties (alleged to be worth ₹5,000 crore). Swamy alleged criminal misappropriation by both Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi.
Explaining further, BJP MP Dr. Subramanian Swamy said that ED has registered a case of money laundering against them and by attaching the properties permanently, ED can auction them and recover the money that has been lost in corruption. “In the National Herald Case, the government had given land at low cost in different states for the printing press. It is alleged that the Congress government sold those land piece by piece for other purposes,” Swamy said.
Enlisting the names against whom the case had been registered, Swamy said: “There are six people and all are out on bail, namely Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi, Moti Lal Vohra, Oscar Fernandes, and Sam Pitroda.”