Congress is again in the headlines for National Herald Case. ED office summoned party leader Rahul Gandhi and Sonia Gandhi. But she is in hospital due to covid at present. The re-opening of this case is another reason for Congress to go against Central Government. It is hard to understand the politics surrounding this case unless you don’t know what National Herald Case is.
So, let’s turn the pages of history and learn about it from the beginning.
What is National Herald Case- The Background
The National Herald was a newspaper started by India’s first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru during the time of India’s struggle with independence in 1938. It was a voice of freedom fighters and a platform where they can promote their vision.
Associated Journals Limited was the company that used to manage the paper. However, the company was not owned by one person. Around 5000 freedom fighters were the shareholders in that company. It ended in 1942 and reopened in 1945. Nehru resigned as Board Member from the company after India got independence.
In 2008, National Herald paper was on the verge of ending so to let it survive, Congress gave loan of Rs 90 crore to AJL. The loan was given from the Party fund.
Young Indian and AJL
Gandhi family started a new company ‘Young Indian’ in 2010. Sonia and Rahul Gandhi were partner in the company with each having 38 percent of partnership. Motilal Vora and Oscar Fernandez were the other two shareholders in the company. Young Indian later acquired 99 percent partnership in AJL in return of loan amount.
Also Read: 6 Facts And Controversies About Rahul Gandhi
Allegations in National Herald Case
Former Law Minister Shanti Bhushan and Markandey Katju, who was the then CJ of Allahabad and Madras HC, put several allegations on the company.
- Both were unaware about the acquisition of AJL.
- They also alleged that company transferred shares of their fathers to AJL without their consent.
- Only Rs 50 lakh were recovered against the loan given to AJL
- YIL took over assets worth Rs 2000 crore maliciously
- Loan was given illegally to AJL
The Enforcement Directorate registered a case in 2014 on the basis of these allegations. Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi, Suman Dubey, Motilal Vora, and Oscar Fernandes were the 5 accuse in the case.
Allegations By Congress
On the other hand, Congress Party denied Swamy’s allegations and said it was a politically motivated move. The company YIL was made with pure purpose of charity and to keep the newspaper running.
Another reason for acquiring AJL by Young India was to ensure that all employees of the company continue getting salary. Neither Rahul nor Sonia has earned any money from the company as claimed by Randeep Surjewala.
Can Rahul and Sonia Go to Jail?
ED is investigation the case again and both Rahul and Sonia Gandhi were summoned for the introspection. They are on bail as granted by SC in 2015, and may go to jail if they don’t cooperate with the investigation, said SC advocate Chandra Prakash Pandey.