ED questions Sonia Gandhi; quiz to continue today

The Enforcement Directorate questioned Congress president Sonia Gandhi in the National Herald case for six hours on Tuesday. She was questioned for three hours last Thursday. The agency will question her again on Wednesday.

People in the know said that two senior officers, including an assistant director of the Enforcement Directorate, interrogated Gandhi. A woman officer was present during the questioning. Owing to her frail health, a doctor too was around and an ambulance was on standby to meet a health emergency, people quoted above said. Owing to her medical condition, Gandhi has to nebulise after every few hours.

Gandhi reached the ED office around noon, accompanied by son Rahul Gandhi and daughter Priyanka Gandhi Vadra. After a brief lunch break, she returned at 3:30 pm. The ED recorded her statements under Section 50 of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, which is admissible as evidence in court. The answers given by the two were keyed in by an ED officer present during questioning and the answers shown to her for verification.

ED reportedly put forth nearly 30 questions to Gandhi last Thursday. She was questioned about decisions taken in board meetings of Young India, besides other issues. Gandhi was slated to appear on June 23 but sought postponement by a few weeks till she recovered from Covid-19 and a lung infection. She was discharged from Sir Ganga Ram Hospital on June 18, where she was admitted on June 12.

Her son Rahul Gandhi was questioned on five occasions last month for over 50 hours in the case over Young India’s acquisition of Associated Journals that published the National Herald newspaper. Gandhis are directors of Young India. Congress has dubbed the case as a political vendetta. ED accuses the Gandhis of ‘misappropriating assets worth over ₹2,000 crore of AJL by paying ₹50 lakh.’ The Income-Tax Department had launched a probe against them on a complaint filed by BJP leader Subramanian Swamy in 2013.

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Harry Byrne

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