The Enforcement Directorate has issued fresh summons to Karnakata Congress president DK Shivakumar and his MP-brother DK Suresh in connection with the alleged National Herald money laundering case.
The agency has called the leader to its Delhi headquarters. However, Shivakumar said on Saturday that he was occupied with party's National President's programme.
"The Investigation Officer (IO) for the National Herald and Young India case has now changed. Me and my brother received summons day before yesterday (Thursday) to depose with certain documents on November 7," Shivakumar was quoted as saying.
He added that he is looking into it and is "occupied with our national president's programs on November 7. I will take a decision on it today."
The Congress leader also stated that he has already furnished certain documents. "The ED and the CBI have filed a case against me in the disproportionate assets case. I have moved the Delhi High Court saying that this cannot be done. We have to see what law says," he said, wondering why the agency was "torturing him".
Shivakumar and his brother had earlier appeared before the ED on October 7 for over four hours while the Congress's ongoing 'Bharat Jodo Yatra' (Unite India rally) was passing through Karnataka.
What is the case against them?
The summons are in connection to Shivakumar and Suresh donating an unspecified amount of money in the past to Young India, the company that owns National Herald. According to reports, the ED is looking to gain knowledge about the details of these transactions.
The probe agency had last month recorded Shivakumar's statements regarding Young Indian and Associated Journals Limited (AJL) financial transactions. The leader had said the ED asked him about his family and also sought other details. "I have requested to give me time to send them all the documents they required. I still have to furnish a lot of information," he said.
Earlier, J Geeta Reddy, Shabbir Ali and P Sudarshan had also joined the probe. They were questioned about the Young Indian and Dotex connection.
The firm is reportedly situated at 5, Lower Rawdon Street in Sreepally of Ballygunge, Kolkata. It is situated in a residential apartment named Aakash Deep.
"Dotex firm allegedly paid Rs 1 crore to Young Indian. This was a loan which they gave to YI in 2010. The loan given by Dotex Merchandise was never returned. YI was just incorporated when this loan was paid," said the ED, according to IANS.
Congress leaders Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi, Mallikarjun Kharge and Pawan Bansal have also so far been questioned in the case.
What is the National Heral case?
The case pertains to the alleged misappropriation of assets of over ₹2,000 crore.
The National Herald was set up in 1938 by Jawaharlal Nehru and other freedom fighters. Originally published by Associated Journals Limited (AJL), it shut down in 2008 as a Rs 90 crore loan failed to revive it. It was taken over in 2010 by Young Indian Pvt Ltd (YIL), which had Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi on its board.
Following this in 2012, a case BJP leader Subramanian Swamy who accused Congress leaders of cheating and breach of trust in the acquisition of AJL by YIL. He has argued that YIL paid only ₹50 lakh for the right to recover ₹90 crore AJL owed to the party, which implies that Congress had written off the remaining ₹89.5 crore.