Former Congress presidents Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi have suffered a major setback. In the National Herald case, ED has taken major action and seized assets worth Rs 751 crore. ED seized assets worth Rs 751.9 crore of Associated Journals Limited and M/s Young Indian. In this, the total value of the assets of Associated Journals Limited is Rs 661.69 crore, which are spread in cities like Delhi, Lucknow and Mumbai. Whereas, the value of property of M/s Young Indian is Rs 90.21 crore, which is in the form of shares. In this case, ED had interrogated both the Congress leaders.
The ED had initiated the money laundering investigation based on the process initiated by Delhi’s Metropolitan Magistrate Court after taking cognizance of a private complaint. The court had held that the seven accused, including the young Indian, had prima facie committed criminal breach of trust under section 406 of the IPC, cheating under section 420 of the IPC and obtaining property by fraudulent means, dishonest embezzlement of property under section 403 of the IPC and section 11 of the Indian Penal Code. There is a case of crime of criminal conspiracy under 120B.
The court had accepted that the accused had hatched a criminal conspiracy to grab assets worth hundreds of crores of rupees of Associated Journals Limited through Young Indian as part of planning.
Let us tell you that Associated Journals Limited was given land at concessional rates in various cities of India for the purpose of publishing newspapers. Associated Journals Limited ceased its publication in 2008 and began using the properties for commercial purposes.
Associated Journals Limited had to repay a loan of Rs 90.21 crore to the All India Congress Committee (AICC), however, AICC considered the said loan of Rs 90.21 crore not recoverable from Associated Journals Limited and sold it to a newly formed company Young for Rs 50 lakh. Sold it to Indian, who had no source to pay even Rs 50 lakh.
By this act, the shareholders of Associated Journals Limited as well as the donors of the Congress Party were defrauded by the office bearers of Associated Journals Limited and the Congress Party.
ED has issued an order to provisionally attach properties worth Rs. 751.9 Crore in a money-laundering case investigated under the PMLA, 2002. Investigation revealed that M/s. Associated Journals Ltd. (AJL) is in possession of proceeds of crime in the form of immovable properties…
— ED (@dir_ed) November 21, 2023
ED investigation revealed that after obtaining a loan of Rs 90.21 crore from AICC, Young Indian demanded from Associated Journals Limited either to repay the loan or hand over the equity shares of Associated Journals Limited. Subsequently, Associated Journals Limited held a general meeting (EGM) and passed a resolution to increase the share capital, in which a resolution to issue new shares worth Rs 90.21 crore to Young Indian was passed.
After Young Indian got the shares, the holding of more than 1000 original shareholders of Associated Journals Limited in the company was reduced to only 1 percent and Associated Journals Limited Company became a complete subsidiary of Young Indian Company.
Not only this, Young Indian also took over the properties of Associated Journals Limited. In this way, a company named Young Indian, formed with just Rs 50 lakh, became the owner of a big company like Associated Journals Limited. The owners of Young Indian, including Rahul Gandhi and Sonia Gandhi, took complete control of Associated Journals Limited, which till now was a company with 1000 shareholders.
ED has said that the investigation of this entire matter is still going on. This entire scam is worth more than Rs 2000 crore.