ED being misused to topple governments, says Congress
The Congress alleged on Wednesday that the money-laundering law has been weaponised to target and humiliate people, and urged the Supreme Court to decide soon on the matter concerning the National Herald-Associated Journals Limited case.
The assertion came on a day when Congress president Sonia Gandhi (75) appeared before the Enforcement Directorate (ED) for the third day to face questioning in connection with a money-laundering case pertaining to the National Herald newspaper.
The Congress also fielded its senior leader Ghulam Nabi Azad in solidarity with Sonia Gandhi and said political opponents should not be treated as "enemies".
Azad, a prominent member of the "Group of 23 (G-23)" that has been critical of the Congress leadership, said the ED should keep in mind the age and health of Sonia Gandhi before subjecting her to repeated questioning in the case, in which party leader Rahul Gandhi has already been questioned for over 50 hours.
He said the Congress chief is aged, has not been well and was admitted to a hospital, adding that she cannot withhold the pressure of probe agencies.
"Even in wars, kings used to give directions that women should not be attacked and those not keeping well should be spared," Azad said, urging the agencies not to be harsh on an aged and ailing Sonia Gandhi.
"I would urge the government and the ED to keep this in mind as subjecting Sonia Gandhi to agencies like this is not right," he added.
Another senior member of the G-23 grouping and a former Union minister, Anand Sharma, said weaponisation of laws and their use to target and humiliate people should not happen.
He said the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) has raised many concerns and alleged that the law has been weaponised.
Sharma hoped that the Supreme Court will come out with an informed judgment in this regard.
Rajasthan Chief Minister and senior Congress leader Ashok Gehlot urged the Supreme Court to soon pronounce a verdict in the National Herald case in which the Gandhis are being questioned.
"Sonia ji has been called (by the ED) for the third time. There is terror of the ED in the country and this case is before the Supreme Court. It should be decided soon," he told reporters.