The National Herald case: Subramanian Swamy, a BJP politician and advocate, filed a lawsuit with a trial court in 2012 saying that several Congressmen had engaged in fraud and the purchase of Associated Journals Ltd. was a violation of trust by Young Indian Ltd. (YIL). He claimed that YIL had “vindictively taken over” the National Herald’s assets.
The ED has called both Rahul Gandhi and Sonia Gandhi in connection with an investigation into the National Herald issue. The ED is presently looking into the ownership structure, financial dealings, and involvement of party officials in the operation of AJL and YIL.
What is the National Herald?
The National Herald newspaper was founded in 1938 by Jawaharlal Nehru, Rahul Gandhi’s great-grandfather and the nation’s first prime minister.
Associated Journals Limited (AJL), which was established in 1937 with 5,000 additional independence fighters as its owners, created the journal. The Qaumi Awaz in Urdu and Navjeevan in Hindi were the other two newspapers that the firm published.
The National Herald, which was influenced by some of the time’s most powerful figures, became associated with India’s war for independence, earning it the title of being the nation’s premier nationalist publication.
The British government ridiculed the newspaper’s scathing and sharp editorial tone—Nehru frequently wrote editorials with harsh language—and banned it in 1942, forcing the daily to close. But three years later, the publication relaunched.
Nehru gave up his post as newspaper board chairman in 1947 to assume the position of prime minister.
The National Herald became the best newspaper.
However, the Congress party continued to have a strong effect on the publication’s attitude. In a letter to the publication on its silver anniversary in 1963, Nehru himself referred to the National Herald as “usually favoring Congress policies” but preserving “an independent viewpoint.
Under the guidance of some of India’s best writers, The National Herald went on to become one of the top English dailies while still receiving funding from the Congress party.
But due to financial difficulties, the daily once more stopped publication in 2008. It was reintroduced as a digital newspaper in 2016.
Concerning Associated Journals Ltd.
Jawaharlal Nehru was the inspiration for Associated Journals Ltd (AJL). Nehru founded the company in 1937 with 5,000 more independence fighters as its owners. The corporation was not owned by a specific person. The corporation has 1,057 stockholders as of 2010. It suffered losses, and in 2011, its assets were given to Young India.
Up until 2008, AJL published the English-language National Herald newspaper together with Qaumi Awaz and Navjeevan in Urdu. AJL made the decision to republish these three daily on January 21, 2016.
Concerning Young India Ltd
Rahul Gandhi, who was the Congress party’s general secretary at the time, served as a director when Young India Ltd. was established in 2010. The remaining 24 percent of the company’s shares are held by Congressmen Motilal Vora and Oscar Fernandes, while Rahul Gandhi and his mother Sonia own 76% of the stock. According to reports, the firm has no commercial activities.
What accusations have been made against the Congress?
Mr. Swamy filed the lawsuit against the Gandhi’s in a trial court in 2012. According to Mr. Swamy, the Gandhi’s attempted to purchase real assets worth more than 20 billion rupees by using Congress party funding and taking control of AJL.
When the National Herald was shut down in 2008, AJL owed the Congress a total of 900 million rupees ($13 million; £10 million).
The Young India Private Limited, a non-profit organization that had been established a few months previously, was given this debt by the Congress in 2010. Its board of directors includes Sonia and Rahul Gandhi, who each hold 38% of the business.
Congressmen Motilal Vora and Oscar Fernandes, as well as the other defendants in the case, Suman Dubey, a writer, and Sam Pitroda, an entrepreneur, control the remaining 24 percent.
What did Mr. Swamy have to say?
Mr. Swamy asserts that the Gandhi’s engaged in a “malicious” ploy to “take over” assets worth millions of dollars. Additionally, according to Swamy, YIL only paid Rs. 50 lakhs to acquire the right to reclaim the Rs. 90.25 crore that AJL owed the Congress party; the sum having previously been handed to YIL as a loan to launch the newspaper. Additionally, he said that because it was paid for using party funds, the loan given to AJL was “illegal.” The BJP spokesperson claims that Young India took entire control of AJL and its real estate, which is situated in Delhi, Lucknow, Mumbai, and other cities.
The Enforcement Directorate launched an investigation in 2014 to determine if money laundering occurred in the situation. The Enforcement Directorate reportedly renewed its probe into the National Herald case on September 18, 2015.
What statements has the Congress made?
According to the Congress party, YIL was established “with a purpose of charity” and not for financial gain. Additionally, it said that the transaction was “merely a business transaction” for the transfer of company shares and that there was “no illegality” in it. It also expressed disapproval of Swamy’s allegation, describing it as “politically driven.”