ED questions Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge in National Herald corruption case

The central probe agency on Monday questioned senior Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge in connection with the National Herald corruption case. 

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ED questions Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge in National Herald corruption case. (File photo: PTI)

The Enforcement Directorate on Monday questioned senior Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge in connection with the National Herald corruption case.

Kharge, the leader of the Opposition in Rajya Sabha, is being questioned by the central probe agency in the money laundering case against National Herald, sources told India Today.

The National Herald is linked to the Congress Party. Several top leaders of Congress are under the ED scanner and Income Tax in the alleged corruption case involving National Herald, Young India and Associated Journals Limited (AJL).

The ED had summoned Kharge for questioning in the alleged corruption case after which he appeared on Monday before the officials. India Today has learnt that Kharge was holding position of office bearer with Young India and Associated Journals Limited (AJL). The ED, sources added, wanted some clarification from Kharge for which he was called for questioning.

Last year, in a major setback for the Congress party, the ED has attached a property in Haryana worth Rs 64 crore in this case. The plot in Haryana’s Panchkula was allegedly illegally allotted to the Associated Journals Limited (AJL) by then Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda.

According to the probe agency, the plot was allotted to AJL in 1982. But the same was taken back by the Estate Officer of Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA) vide order dated October 30, 1992 as the AJL did not comply with the conditions of allotment letter.

The Resumption Order attained finality after dismissal of the revision petition in 1996.

However, according to ED, Bhupinder Singh Hooda, the then CM, blatantly misused his official position and dishonestly allotted the said plot afresh in the guise of re-allotment to the AJL at original rates plus interest in violation of necessary conditions and policy of HUDA in 2005 for Rs 59,39,200.

"The actual value of the property as of February 26, 2011 and June 13, 2017 is Rs 32.25 crore and Rs 64.93 crore, respectively. The then CM caused wrongful loss to HUDA and wrongful gain to AJL by ignoring legal opinion of LR, Haryana and recommendations of HUDA Officers and FCTCP," the ED had earlier said.