Associated Journals appointed two additional directors in March 2014

AJL MD Motilal Vora calls EGM in Lucknow for January 21

December 20, 2015 12:28 am | Updated November 17, 2021 05:02 am IST - NEW DELHI:

The Associated Journals Ltd (AJL), owner of the National Herald , inducted two additional directors into its board in March — both associates of Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi. One is Congress MP Deepender Singh Hooda and the other Gujarat Congress leader Dipak Bhai Ratilal Babaria.

At the centre of the issue, which resulted in Congress president Sonia Gandhi and Mr. Gandhi appearing in a Delhi court on Saturday, AJL has also called an extraordinary general meeting (EGM) for January 21, 2016 to convert it into a non-profit company.

It was the transfer of AJL to a newly incorporated company, Young Indian, in which the majority stake is held by the Gandhis, that has resulted in the court case.

According to a notice published in Lucknow newspapers on the eve of the Gandhis’ appearance in court, AJL managing director Motilal Vora, who is also Congress treasurer, has called the EGM at 1, Bisheshwar Nath Road, Kaiserbagh, Lucknow. According to records, AJL has 762 shareholders. The notice says the company had been considering for more than four years “that the company should not be commercially motivated with a view to distributing any benefits or dividends to its members.” And the company should “operate and undertake its activities for the larger public good.”

It said: “As such, the Board has decided to take necessary steps to convert the company into a not-for-profit Section 8 company under the Companies Act, 2013. To effectuate this object and purpose, notice is hereby given that an Extraordinary General Meeting of Members of The Associated Journal Limited will be held on Thursday, 21st January, 2016.”

AJL is the owner of the defunct party mouthpiece National Herald and several prime properties in New Delhi, Lucknow, Bhopal, Mumbai, Indore, Patna and Panchkula. Its shareholders included Jawaharlal Nehru, Indira Gandhi, Feroze Gandhi and G.D. Birla. As AJL ran into losses, it began to receive unsecured loans from the Congress, and it now totals around Rs. 90 crore.

In November 2010, Young Indian, a non-profit company, was incorporated, with Ms. Gandhi and Mr. Gandhi together holding 76 per cent stake in it. And in December 2010, Young Indian offered to own the outstanding debt of AJL of Rs. 90 crore. With a further payment of Rs. 50 lakh from Young Indian to AJL, all the shares of AJL was transferred to Young Indian. AJL thus became a wholly owned subsidiary of Young Indian.

The Congress later decided to write off the loan to AJL.

According to the filings with the Ministry of Company Affairs, through a resolution AJL on March 20 appointed Dipak Bhai Ratilal Babaria and Deepender Singh Hooda, both known to be close associates of Mr. Gandhi, as additional directors of AJL.

0 / 0
Sign in to unlock member-only benefits!
  • Access 10 free stories every month
  • Save stories to read later
  • Access to comment on every story
  • Sign-up/manage your newsletter subscriptions with a single click
  • Get notified by email for early access to discounts & offers on our products
Sign in


Comments have to be in English, and in full sentences. They cannot be abusive or personal. Please abide by our community guidelines for posting your comments.

We have migrated to a new commenting platform. If you are already a registered user of The Hindu and logged in, you may continue to engage with our articles. If you do not have an account please register and login to post comments. Users can access their older comments by logging into their accounts on Vuukle.