New Delhi: The Enforcement Directorate may now register a complaint of money laundering in the National Herald case, days after a senior official of the agency had noted that there was no case made out against Congress President Sonia Gandhi and Vice President Sonia Gandhi. The Directorate may register a case soon, a senior official said today.
The ED’s decision comes weeks after the Department of Revenue had sought legal opinion on the noting of a joint director, who was looking into the case earlier, that a PMLA case cannot be made out as there is no predicate offence that could be made out against the two Congress leaders.
The legal opinion favoured filing of a case under PMLA, the sources said. BJP leader Subramanian Swamy had claimed that ED had wrongfully arrived at such a conclusion. Days later, the government cut short the tenure of the then ED chief Rajan Katoch, who was holding the ED Director post in an additional capacity, and appointed Special Director of the agency Karnal Singh as the acting Director. A trial court had issued summons against Gandhi, her son, senior Congress leaders Moti Lal Vora, Suman Dubey and Oscar Fernandes, which was stayed by the Delhi High Court.
Gandhi’s counsel Kapil Sibal had argued before the High Court that there no criminal breach of trust and no criminal conspiracy and neither any cheating took place and it is a simple company matter where Young Indian (YIL) has taken over the Associated Journals (AJL).
The counsel had also challenged the locus standi of Swamy saying it was a company matter and “no stranger can question the company’s transactions”.