Why did ED reopen National Herald case?

The Congress party has categorically maintained that it has the highest respect for the law of the land, but at the same time won’t be brow beaten into subjugation.

Written by Priyanka Chaturvedi | New Delhi | Updated: February 9, 2016 11:20 am
National Herald Case, National herald case Congress, Sonia Gandhi, Rahul gandhi, Priyanka Chaturvedi Congress BJP leader Subramanian Swamy has accused Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi, along with four others, of cheating and breach of trust in the AJL-YIL case.

By Priyanka Chaturvedi

In the past week, National Herald and the Delhi High Court ruling has been much debated on prime time news channels. Many news channels to create confusion in the mind of the viewers deliberately obfuscated the two issues of judiciary versus political vendetta. PM Narendra Modi feels by keeping the Opposition engaged in false motivated legal battles through his appointed proxies will silence them so they do not ask tough question of his failed governance model.

He clearly is mistaken.

The Congress party has categorically maintained that it has the highest respect for the law of the land, but at the same time won’t be brow beaten into subjugation. For those who are still wondering what the National Herald case is about? Indian National Congress supported Associated Journals Limited, publisher of National Herald and other publications founded by first Prime Minister, Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru in 1937.

When National Herald was incurring huge running losses, Indian National Congress, stepped in to support them in the form of interest-free loans totaling Rs 90 crore from time to time. In the year 2010, a ‘not-for-profit Section 25 company’ was incorporated under the Indian Companies Act, 1956. Smt. Sonia Gandhi and Shri Rahul Gandhi are amongst its six Managing Committee members. ‘Young Indian’ acquired this Rs 90 crore loan from Indian National Congress with a view to revive the newspaper.

Now to look at the legal aspect of the case that BJP and their core team member Subramanian Swamy have been crowing about it – a political party granting a loan is not a criminal offence under any law in India. Moreover, this loan was duly disclosed in books of accounts of Congress Party, duly audited and submitted to Election Commission of India.

In fact, the Election Commission had rejected Subramanian Swamy’s charge clarifying that there is no provision in the Representation of Peoples Act that prohibits or controls expenditure by a political party. Members of a ‘not-for-profit Section 25 company’ are prohibited by law from getting any dividend, profit, salary or any other financial benefit. Therefore, the question of any gain or profit or financial benefit does not arise and is inherently false.

Now to expose another set of BJP and their team member Swamy’s false charges on ownership of assets – all income and all assets continue to remain exclusive property of Associated Journals Limited despite transfer of majority shareholding to ‘Young Indian’. Assets are owned by the company i.e. Associated Journals Limited and not any shareholder. No one has transferred any movable or immovable property/assets of Associated Journals Limited nor has ‘Young Indian’ withdrawn a single rupee from Associated Journals Limited. Even if ‘Young Indian’ is liquidated/closed by Managing Committee members, all proceeds thereof can only go to a ‘not-for-profit’ company and can never be legally distributed among its shareholders/ Managing Committee members.

It is indeed worth questioning that while on one hand Arun Jaitley said Swamy filed the case in his individual capacity and not on behalf of the party on the other how is it that Shahnawaz Hussain held a press conference in BJP headquarter minutes after the Delhi High Court ruling when the judgment itself had not even been released? What smacks of political vendetta is how Enforcement Directorate reopened the National Herald case in September, while they had supposedly found no wrongdoing and had closed it a month earlier in August, 2015. They went so far as to sack the ED Director who recommended closure.

This political witchhunt is not new under Modi government, when he was governing his state and even now when he attempts to govern the nation. The Congress has been raising the systemic witch hunt that Modi government has been indulging in ever since it came to power. They seem to forget that the people of the country voted them for governance and not for indulging in political vendetta.

Modi government has maintained a silence on the widespread corruption reported in BJP states such as Madhya Pradesh that was rocked by two big scams affecting the career of over one crore students the Vyapam Scam and DMAT Chhattisgarh saw the PDS Scam of nearly Rs 36000 crores.

In the mining scam of Rajasthan 1,700 mines worth Rs 2,04,000 crore were allocated illegally&after objection they were forced to cancel allocation of 1,650 mines. No FIR has been lodged or CBI or ED inquiry has been conducted in the Modi Gate scam. Instead the Modi government has chosen to do what it does best- attack its opponents on false charges.

To give a few examples it raided the premises of Leader of Opposition & Narendra Modi’s bete noire, Shankar Sinh Vaghela. In a vindictive move Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh was raided by CBI at a time when his daughter was getting married. A similar pattern can be seen in Rajasthan where a case was heaped upon Sachin Pilot and former Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot. Similar FIRs were lodged by CBI in Haryana, Assam, Chhattishgarh and Goa against Congress leaders. Even other opponents of Modi government have not been spared.

TMC and its leaders are being hounded by CBI/ED and other agencies in West Bengal. BSP President has already been questioned by CBI. At least, three dozen cases including sedition have been registered against Hardik Patel in Gujarat. Over 20,000 criminal cases have been registered against Patidars in Gujarat.

We firmly believe that truth will prevail and justice will be achieved through due judicial process. What needs to be highlighted and exposed is the role of the Bharatiya Janta Party in failing to provide good governance to the people of the country by indulging in silencing the opposition. It is time the country realized it is the BJP that is truly blocking the nation’s progress for its own politically driven agenda.

(Priyanka Chaturvedi is a National Spokesperson of Indian National Congress. The views expressed here are personal. Tweet to her @priyankac19)

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  1. Sajith Kumar
    Jan 1, 2016 at 12:17 pm
    Ha ha ha. OK priyanka!!!. I agree with you. Now I will form a "not-for-profit Section 25 company", and can you please transfer all your property (or under your control) to that?? What happened to the share holders??. Did they agree to transfer the company to your madam??
    1. V
      vasoo kamulkar
      Jan 1, 2016 at 6:01 pm
      The article is written by Priyanka Chaturvedi. If these names aren’t pseudonyms then they vindicate the misdeeds of her mistress, the Italian made. ‘PRIYANKA’ is a compound of two words in Sanskrit. 'PRIYA' means the beloved (remember Priyadarshinee - beloved to the sight, Indira?) And ‘ANKA’ denotes the thigh. Priyanka, therefore, suggests the lady with a lovable thigh. The surname 'CHATURVEDI ' is not that much tantalising to analyse. The compounded term on its own, is a description of a Brahmin who is able to understand and recite all of the four Hindu Vedas, (They are, Rgveda, Yajurveda, Atharwa Veda and Samveda. The ancestors of cricketer Bedi and the retired Police woman Kiran Bedi perhaps knew only one of the Vedas – (Bedas); probably the first one. The Dwivedis were proficient in the two and the Trivedis in the three Vedas. The compounded term when split, qualifies Priyanka, bit uncharitably. The first consuent ‘CHATU (h)’ which meaning numeral four or ‘CHATUR (a) meaning shrewd, clever, prudent or ingenious are both Sanskrit derivatives. ‘VEDI’ in Sanskrit is an adjectival noun as explained above but in Maraathee, it connotes a lady, bereft of her senses; a mad, insane woman. Depending upon one’s own biases; one may, therefore, construe Priyanka as a mad lady- four times over or alternatively if one is partial towards an oxymoron then Priyanka could be regarded as an ingenuously insane female specimen.
      1. N
        Dec 13, 2015 at 2:38 pm
        Before writing these bers read the judgement first. If you are writing things this way, it's better to be a congress spokesperson... Judgement clearly points out a criminal intent in the AJL- YI transactions. Paragraph 39 of the judgement: " 39. After having considered the entire case in its proper perspective, this Court finds no hesitation to put it on record that the modus opei adopted by peioners in taking control of AJL via Special Purpose Vehicle i.e. Y.I., particularly, when the main persons in Congress Party, AJL and Y.I. are the same, evidences a criminal intent. Whether it is cheating, criminal misappropriation or criminal breach of trust is not required to be spelt out at this nascent stage. In any case, by no stretch of imagination, it can be said that no case for summoning peioners as accused in the complaint in question is made out. Questionable conduct of peioners needs to be properly examined at the charge stage to find out the truth and so, these criminal proceedings cannot be thwarted at this initial stage. Such a view is being formed on a bird’s eye view of the w case and the observations in the impugned order of there being a prima facie case have to be read in the context of there being sufficient grounds for summoning peioners. "
        1. prakash gotimukul
          Dec 12, 2015 at 11:31 am
          Peddling lies is pastime of jobless congis......ED notice is not reopened. It is issued now?? MODI govt is not a fool to commit silly mistakes like what congress does in their pride as if no body will find out. @G, CWG, Adarsh COAL and a 1000 others.
          1. H
            Dec 12, 2015 at 4:26 am
            Modi is not corrupt politician. His family members are not in money making business of politics. If he goes after corrupt people, that is not political vendetta but cleaning the system. Shakarsingh vaghela is corrupt guy thats why he joined congress.
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