ED official handling National Herald case shunted out

Enforcement Directorate joint director Himanshu Kumar Lal, who had recommended that a money-laundering probe could not be initiated into the National Herald issue on technical grounds, has been transferred.

He will now hold office in a new post in the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI).

In his letter to the revenue department in union finance ministry, Lal, an Indian Police Service officer of the Odisha cadre, said the money-laundering investigation against Congress president Sonia Gandhi and vice-president Rahul Gandhi in the National Herald case could not be initiated as no police case was filed under any provision pertaining to predicate offences.

Lal favoured closing the case in his report sent to the revenue department as there was no predicate offence against the two Congress leaders. 

This report was flagged by BJP leader Subramanian Swamy to Prime Minister Narendra Modi in August in which he demanded appointment of a full-time ED director, a post which was being handled by Rajan S Katoch as additional charge. Immediately after the complaint of Swamy, the government appointed ED special director Karnal Singh as the new in-charge, thereby curtailing the three-month extension given him two weeks ago.

The order transferring Lal to the UIDAI stated he would serve in the new post for the remainder of his tenure on central deputation till 26 December 2016.