Congress President Sonia Gandhi’s questioning by the Enforcement Directorate in the National Herald case will be carried out by five officers led by a woman Additional Director, sources say.
The team is led by Monica Sharma, Additional Director.
Sonia Gandhi, 75, will be allowed to rest if she gets tired during her questioning, sources say. The Congress president has reportedly made some requests to the Enforcement Directorate.
She has asked that her daughter and Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi be allowed to stay in the building as she keeps her medicines.
The Congress president has reportedly requested a spacious and ventilated room for her questioning. Also, she has asked that officials and staff who interact with her be tested for Covid, sources say.
Rahul Gandhi’s questioning in the case went on for five days but sources say the Enforcement Directorate plans to keep it short when it comes to his mother.
The Enforcement Directorate claims Rahul Gandhi’s questioning took more time because his answers did not match. After each round of questioning, when he was asked to sign off on the typed transcript, the Congress MP “improvised some answers”, claimed sources.
The Gandhis are being questioned in what is called the “National Herald case” involving the Young Indian’s takeover of Associated Journals Limited (AJL), the company that runs the National Herald newspaper, a Congress mouthpiece.
The Enforcement Directorate says the Young Indian company also took over ₹ 800 crore in assets of AJL. According to the Income Tax department, this should be considered an asset of the shareholders of Young Indian — Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi, for which they should pay tax.
The Congress says the assets of AJL went to a Young Indian, a non-profit, and so the shareholders could not make any money from the assets since that is not allowed under the law. To which, the Enforcement Directorate says the Young Indian claims to be a non-profit but has not done any charity work.
Sonia Gandhi’s questioning will be carried out in three parts, say sources. Rahul Gandhi was questioned for over 40 hours across five days.
But keeping the Congress president’s health in mind, the Enforcement Directorate says it aims at wrapping up her questioning far sooner.
The first part of her questioning will be on personal details of her shareholding and taxes and the second part will focus on the links of Associated Journal to Young Indian, say sources.
The third part of the questioning will be on the links of the Congress party with the companies.
For the questioning, massive security arrangements have been made at the Enforcement Directorate office as well as roads near the Congress office and Sonia Gandhi’s home because of street protests by Congress leaders.