Congress leader Rahul Gandhi was given a half-an-hour break by the Enforcement Directorate around 8pm after 10 hours of questioning in Delhi on Tuesday. The Wayanad MP has so far been questioned for nearly 50 hours in five days.
He was questioned for 10 hours yesterday too, and for 30 hours last week from Monday to Wednesday. Before the ED probe resumed yesterday, he was allowed some days’ break to be with his ailing mother, Congress President Sonia Gandhi.
Sonia Gandhi, who was discharged yesterday after treatment of post-Covid complications, has also been summoned by the ED but given time till June 23.
The ED is investigating the Gandhis’ role in what is known as the National Herald case. It involves the Young Indian’s takeover of AJL (Associated Journals Limited), the company that ran the National Herald newspaper, a Congress mouthpiece which has since transformed into an online-only outlet.
The Young Indian took over Rs 800 crore in assets of AJL and, according to the Income Tax department, this should be considered an asset of Young Indian’s shareholders Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi, for which they should pay tax. The Congress has claimed that the Young Indian is a non-profit organisation, so shareholders cannot make any money from its assets.
The Enforcement Directorate has argued that Young Indian has not done any charitable work; its only transaction was the transfer of AJL’s debt. The Congress has countered that running the newspaper constitutes charity. The Income Tax order has been challenged in court and is pending in the Supreme Court.
Congress workers continued their protest against what they term “vendetta politics” of the BJP, though they were mostly limited to the party office in Delhi. When he was being questioned last week at the ED office in central Delhi, Congress leaders and workers had clashed with Delhi Police.