Thursday, May 23, 2024

ED examines Cong leader Kharge in money laundering case

Oppn parties
Leader of opposition in Rajya Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge speaks in Rajya Sabha during the Budget session of Parliament in New Delhi on Wednesday. (ANI photo)

New Delhi, April 11: The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Monday examined senior Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge here in connection with its money laundering probe against the party-promoted Associated Journals Limited (AJL), which publishes the National Herald newspaper, officials said.
The 79-year-old Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha was summoned to appear before the federal agency with regard to the probe, following which he deposed before it.
He arrived at the ED headquarters here shortly before 11 AM.
His statement has been recorded under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) as the agency wants to understand some issues in the investigation, officials said.
Kharge is stated to be an office-bearer of Young Indian and AJL and hence his questioning in the case was necessitated, officials said.
The ED has been probing AJL and the role of various Congress leaders under the anti-money laundering law since 2016 after taking cognisance of a CBI FIR.
The agency had alleged that the accused in this case, that includes former Haryana chief minister and Congress leader Bhupinder Singh Hooda and late Congress leader Motilal Vora, “used the proceeds of crime” in the form of a land plot allotted “illegally” to AJL in Panchkula and pledged it to avail loan from a Syndicate Bank branch (Bahadur Shah Zafar Marg) in Delhi for constructing a building in Mumbai’s Bandra area.
This property, valued at Rs 16.38 crore, was attached by the ED in 2020.
Also, BJP MP Subramanian Swamy, in a private criminal complaint filed before a trial court here, had accused Congress chief Sonia Gandhi, her MP son Rahul Gandhi and others of conspiring to cheat and misappropriate funds by paying only Rs 50 lakh, through which Young Indian Pvt Ltd (YI) obtained the right to recover Rs 90.25 crore that Associate Journals Ltd, the owner of National Herald, owed to the Congress.
The Delhi High Court in February last year had issued a notice to the Gandhis for their response on the plea of Swamy seeking to lead evidence in the matter before the trial court.
They, however, contended in the Delhi High Court that the plea by Swamy was “misconceived and premature”.
Kharge on Sunday said all opposition parties should unite against the BJP to relieve people of its oppression .(PTI)