National

CBI yet to take up formal probe in National Herald issue

One year on, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has not yet initiated formal probe into a complaint alleging cheating and misappropriation of funds in the acquisition of National Herald by Young Indian, which was referred to the agency by the Enforcement Directorate.

BJP leader Subramanian Swamy had initially approached the ED in July last year seeking registration of a case on the issue. The Directorate sought legal opinion and then expressed inability claiming that it was not in a position to initiate the probe as no case had been registered by a primary investigating agency on the same set of allegations.

According to agency sources, the ED also sent a copy of the documents submitted by Dr. Swamy to the CBI in August last year for necessary follow-up. The same month, in an interview to an English news channel, Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said that the National Herald case was prima facie a very strong case. The Directorate is yet to hear from the CBI on any concrete action taken in this regard.

It is learnt that monetary transactions pertaining to the acquisition is also being investigated by the Income-Tax Department.

Dr. Swamy had lodged a complaint with a Delhi court, which on June 26 last year issued summons to Congress president Sonia Gandhi and vice-president Rahul Gandhi.

However, on July 30, 2014, the Delhi High Court stayed the summons and later extended the stay till final disposal of the petitions before it. The matter is currently pending before the High Court.

Meanwhile, in February, Dr. Swamy wrote to the government raising the issue. In the wake of a recent ED latter to the Revenue Secretary stating that no case was made out in the matter, the senior BJP leader again wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi demanding removal of agency chief Rajan S. Katoch, who had already been given four extensions by the government.

It was alleged that Dr. Katoch and some other ED officials had been scuttling the probe on the National Herald issue.

Days after Dr. Swamy’s letters, the Central government last week issued orders relieving Dr. Katoch of the additional charge as ED Director.

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Printable version | May 7, 2021 11:11:40 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/cbi-yet-to-take-up-formal-probe-in-national-herald-issue/article7582560.ece

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