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Setback for Gandhis: ED permanently attaches Panchkula property worth Rs 64 crores in National Herald case

All the accused in the National Herald scam, Rahul Gandhi, Sonia Gandhi, Oscar Fernandes, Motilal Vohra, Sam Pitroda are out on bail.

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OpIndia Staffhttps://www.opindia.com
Staff reporter at OpIndia

In a major jolt to the Gandhi family, the Enforcement Directorate has attached a Gurugram property worth Rs 64.93 crores under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act(PMLA). The said property was illegally allotted to Associated Journals Limited(AJL) by the then Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda for Rs 59.39 lakhs.

The adjudicating authority has confirmed the attachment. The Enforcement Directorate had earlier sought court permission to attach properties as a permanent attachment, following which the move has been initiated. The adjudicating authority had already approved the ED’s request after granting a hearing to Associated Journals Limited (AJL). The properties were under ED scanner for a long time now and following the attachment, it leaves the Gandhis with little options to challenge the move.

According to ED investigation, the plot number C-17, sector 6, Panchkula was allotted to the AJL in the year 1982 as per the request of the company to start the Nav-Jivan newspaper. However, the AJL did not abide by the terms and conditions of the allotment, the estate officer, HUDA, Panchkula vide order dated 30.10.1992 ordered to take back the plot on the ground that the allottee i.e. AJL violated the necessary terms and conditions of the allotment letter by not starting the construction and completing the same within the specified time period.

However, the Bhupinder Hooda government had, in 2005, re-allocated the plot to AJL under for the original price plus interest at a mere 59.39 lakh rupees.

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) had earlier in December 2018 attached property worth Rs 30 crores in Mohali allotted by former Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda in the case of Associated Journals & National Herald Case. The Supreme Court last year upheld the Income Tax Department’s decision to re-open their tax assessment for the financial year 2011-2012 in connection with the National Herald Case.

Subramanian Swamy, the petitioner in the case has alleged criminal misappropriation by both Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi. He has asserted that AJL had taken an interest-free loan of Rs 90.25 Crores from the Indian National Congress. It is alleged that the loan was not repaid. A newly incorporated company Young India with a capital of Rs 50 lakhs had almost all shareholding of the AJL. All the accused in the National Herald scam, Rahul Gandhi, Sonia Gandhi, Oscar Fernandes, Motilal Vohra, Sam Pitroda are out on bail.

In a separate money laundering case against Robert Vadra, related to the London properties he owns, the Enforcement Directorate will question him tomorrow.

The ED had earlier asked for custody of Robert Vadra asserting that his responses have been evasive and he is not complying with the agency in their investigation.

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OpIndia Staffhttps://www.opindia.com
Staff reporter at OpIndia

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