Congress President Sonia Gandhi on Wednesday wrote to the Enforcement Directorate requesting to postpone questioning in a money-laundering case related to the National Herald newspaper till she fully recovers from Covid-19 and lung infection, the party said.
The Enforcement Directorate has asked Gandhi to appear before it on Thursday.
“Since she has been strictly advised rest at home following her hospitalisation on account of Covid and lung infection, Congress President Smt. Sonia Gandhi has written to ED today seeking the postponement of her appearance there by a few weeks till she has recovered completely,” party leader Jairam Ramesh wrote on Twitter.
Gandhi had been admitted to Ganga Ram Hospital in Delhi on June 12 due to Covid-19-related complications. Doctors treated her for nasal bleeding. She had tested positive for the coronavirus disease on June 2.
On June 17, she was detected with a fungal infection in her respiratory tract.
On Monday evening, the 75-year-old leader was discharged from the hospital after treatment. The doctors had advised Gandhi to rest at home, Ramesh had said.
Before she tested positive for the coronavirus, the Enforcement Directorate had on June 1 issued summons to Gandhi and her MP son Rahul Gandhi to appear before it on June 8.
But the Congress chief had sought more time, saying she is recuperating from Covid-19.
Meanwhile, Rahul Gandhi has been questioned by the Enforcement Directorate for 50 hours over five days since last week.
The case against Gandhis
The National Herald is published by Associated Journals Limited and owned by Young Indian Private Limited. It was founded and edited by Jawaharlal Nehru before he became India’s first prime minister.
In April 2008, the paper suspended operations as it had incurred a debt of over Rs 90 crore. Bharatiya Janata Party MP Subramanian Swamy has accused Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi of setting up the Young Indian Private Limited firm to buy the debt using the funds from the Congress.
In his complaint before a trial court, Swamy accused the Gandhis and others of conspiring to cheat and misappropriate the funds. He has alleged that the Young Indian firm paid only Rs 50 lakh to obtain the right to recover Rs 90.25 crore that the Associate Journals Limited owed to the Congress.
The party had loaned the amount to Associated Journals Limited on an interest-free basis, according to court records. The Congress has claimed that there was no money exchange and only conversion of debt into equity took place to pay off dues like salaries.