[dropcap color=”#008040″ boxed=”yes” boxed_radius=”8px” class=”” id=””]I[/dropcap]n a move that would force the Modi government to reveal its stand on the National Herald (NH) case, senior BJP leader Subramanian Swamy has approached the trial court, seeking issuance of directive to the Centre to submit the findings of the Enforcement Directorate (ED) probe in the scandal that has big ramification for the congress party and i9ts top leaders including Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi. he court will hear the matter on January 11.
Swamy, who is a complainant in this case, has also asked the court to summon documents of the Delhi Development Authority in this case. The BJP and senior ministers of the Modi government have all along tried to maintain a ‘hands off’ approach from the Swamy complaints. Top ministers of the Modi government have claimed that the ED and Income tax department have so far not acted against the Gandhis in the NH Case and tried to blunt the edge of the Opposition party charge that the Modi regime was pursuing vendetta politics.
Last month, speaking at the Aaj Tak Agenda programme, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had said that his government had taken no action in this case. “Action has so far not been taken. ED has not issued any notice. Tax authorities have not passed any assessment order,” he said, adding, “The government will wait for the outcome of court proceedings. If there is a tax angle, then taxation authorities will ask questions for which there is a due process.”
[dropcap color=”#008040″ boxed=”yes” boxed_radius=”8px” class=”” id=””]S[/dropcap]wamy’s plea before the court to summon documents of ED in this case will force the probe agency to reveal the progress it has done so far in this case. In a way, it will also be testimony of the view taken by the Modi government in pursuing this case. In the past, Swamy alleged that the former Director of ED Rajan Katoch was working at the behest of the Congress party (he is related to Digvijay Singh of Congress) and trying to suppress the investigation in the case. After Swamy wrote to the PM to replace Katoch last August, the Government replaced Katoch with Karnail Singh the very next day and reopened the NH Case.
In his first letter to PM (dated August 11, 2015), Swamy said “the present director seems to have no interest in pursuing any matter connected with the Congress Party, perhaps, due to the fact that he is a close relative of Digvijay Singh, who is General Secretary of the Congress party.”
Further, Swamy said he had provided Katoch “a detailed report of money-laundering carried out by Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi and four others in the acquisition of National Herald’s publishing company.” Swamy also alleged that “an invisible hand” was stopping the ED from launching an investigation.
In his second letter to Modi dated August 12, Swamy once again provided details of the NH case and accused the ED of not registering a case of money laundering against Rahul and Sonia. Following this letter, Katoch was removed.
[dropcap color=”#008040″ boxed=”yes” boxed_radius=”8px” class=”” id=””]O[/dropcap]n August 26, Katoch’s successor Karnail Singh, reversed an order by his predecessor and issued a circular clarifying that the ED can probe a case even in the absence of a predicate offence such as an FIR by the police or any other investigating agency if the court has taken cognizance of a complaint.
Last year, Swamy also demanded that the Serious Frauds Investigation Office (SFIO) should be asked to probe the NH case in view of allegations by some shareholders of Associated Journals Ltd. (AJL) that they were not consulted before the company’s equity was transferred to Young Indian Private Ltd.
Expect to see a flurry of activity between now and February 20th from the Government on this case.
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