In a big jolt to Congress, the Enforcement Directorate has reopened the investigation into the National Herald case which involves party president Sonia, vice president Rahul Gandhi and other party leaders. ED has rejected the opinion of former top officer that favoured closure.
The ED had closed investigation against the Gandhis in August after claiming that no case was made out against Sonia and Rahul. The ED had decided to close the case citing technical reasons.
However, the Bharatiya Janata Party said that the case was never even closed in the first place.
Soon after he closed the National Herald case, Rajan S Katoch was Tuesday removed as the Enforcement Directorate Director in August and senior IPS officer Karnal Singh was given additional charge as chief of ED.
Katoch was handling the top ED charge in an additional capacity since August 2014 after he was promoted and appointed as the Heavy Industries Secretary.
Upon his elevation, he was asked to hold ED Director's charge till January 2015 after which he was given an extension to continue in the post till April 30. The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) had again issued an order and extended his stint in the agency till July 2015.
An IAS officer of Madhya Pradesh cadre, Katoch was heading ED for about three and half years after he was first appointed in March 2012.
BJP leader Subramanian Swamy had written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi seeking appointment of a full-time Director for the central probe agency. Sonia and party Rahul were summoned in the case in June 2014 after Subramanian Swamy had filed a complaint accusing them of cheating and misappropriation of funds in acquiring ownership of the now-defunct English daily National Herald.
Swamy had alleged misappropriation of assets worth Rs 2000 crore of the National Herald newspaper. Among the other leaders who had received summons include Congress leader Motilal Vora and senior party member Oscar Fernandes.