Robert Vadra Visits ED Office For Round 12 Questioning

Robert Vadra reached the Enforcement Directorate office on Thursday morning for yet another round of interrogation in a money laundering case. Before heading to the ED office, Vadra put out a Facebook post reaffirming his faith in the judiciary and claiming innocence.

“Till date, I have deposed 11 times with questioning of approximately 70 hours. In the future also, I will cooperate as always, till my name is cleared of all false allegations and accusations,” Robert Vadra said in a Facebook post uploaded sometime before he left home.

Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, who has lately been accompanying Robert Vadra to the ED office to send a message to the government that she had her husband’s back, dropped him off today also.

In the past, Vadra has described corruption cases filed against him as political vendetta, insisting that the ruling BJP-led national coalition often used the cases against him to divert attention from inconvenient issues and controversies. His lawyers say that if the central probe agency could not find any evidence against him after 70 hours of grilling, it means that they really don’t have a case.

During his election campaign, PM Modi often alluded to cases against Vadra and others promising to send them to jail in his second term.

Robert Vadra’s 12th round of questioning started hours before Prime Minister Narendra Modi is sworn-in for his second innings.

The ED has already asked the high court to cancel the anticipatory bail granted to him by a subordinate court so that it can arrest and question him in the case pertaining to alleged money laundering in the purchase of a London-based property worth 1.9 million pounds.

“From the investigation conducted so far, it is revealed that he is involved in the commission of the offence of cross border and domestic money laundering. He is the beneficial owner of various properties under the investigation in the case, which have been acquired through the proceeds of crime,” the agency said in its petition.

The high court will take up this request in a fortnight or so.

An application by Robert Vadra to seek permission to travel to London for medical reasons is also pending before a Delhi court.

Money Laundering Case: Robert Vadra Gets Anticipatory Bail From Delhi Court

A Delhi court granted anticipatory bail to Robert Vadra on Monday over a money laundering case. 

The court also granted anticipatory bail to Manoj Arora. Both were recently on interim bail. 

Special Judge Arvind Kumar granted the relief to Vadra on furnishing a personal bond of Rs 5 lakh and a surety of like amount. The court also said Vadra will not leave the country without prior permission.

It also imposed certain conditions on him and said he shall not tamper with any evidence, influence any witness in the case. 

Last week, the court had extended Robert Vadra’s interim protection from arrest till March 27 in a money laundering case. 

Vadra has been alleged of money laundering in the purchase of a London-based property at 12, Bryanston Square, worth 1.9 million pounds. 

The Enforcement Directorate had also sought custodial interrogation of Vadra.

ED told a special CBI court that Vadra was harassing the investigative agency and countered his claims of “political witch hunt” and harassment during the hearing of the anticipatory bail pleas of Vadra and his associate Manoj Arora. 

After hearing the claims and counterclaims, special CBI Judge Arvind Kumar had reserved the order on the bail pleas to April 1. 

The court till then extended the interim relief of Vadra, the brother-in-law of Congress president Rahul Gandhi, and his aide Manoj Arora who are being probed by the ED in the money laundering case.

Robert Vadra Appeares Before ED Over London Property Case

The Indian businessman and brother-in-law of Congress President Rahul Gandhi appeared before the Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Wednesday in a money laundering case. 

He reached the agency’s office at Jamnagar House in central Delhi at about 10:30 am along with his lawyers, they said.

This is a scheduled appearance of Vadra before the investigating officer (IO) of the case in a criminal complaint related to allegations of money laundering to purchase assets abroad.

He had skipped the summons on Tuesday, citing bad health.

Vadra has been questioned by the ED in this case for 23 hours over three days of deposition earlier this month.

He has been asked by a Delhi court to cooperate in the probe being conducted by the central probe agency.

The ED case against Vadra relates to allegations of money laundering in the purchase of a London-based property located at 12, Bryanston Square worth 1.9 million GBP (British pounds), which is allegedly owned by him.

The agency had told the court that it has received information about various new properties in London which belong to Vadra. These include two houses, one worth 5 million GBP and the other valued at 4 million GBP, six other flats and more properties.

Vadra has denied the allegations of possessing illegal foreign assets and termed them a political witch hunt against him. He said he was being “hounded and harassed” to subserve political ends.

Vadra’s statement is being recorded under Section 50 (powers of authorities regarding summons, production of documents and to give evidence) of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).

His first appearance before the ED earlier this month acquired political overtones after his wife Priyanka Gandhi, recently appointed Congress general secretary in-charge of eastern Uttar Pradesh, accompanied him to the investigating agency’s office on one day while she picked him up after questioning the next time.

Vadra had similarly deposed before the ED twice in Jaipur in an another money-laundering case related to an alleged land scam in Bikaner.

ED Questions Robert Vadra On Day 2, Goes On For 9 Hours

Robert Vadra, brother-in-law of Congress chief Rahul Gandhi was questioned by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) for the second day lasting for about 9 hours on Thursday regarding the investigation into some assets located in the United Kingdom. He may be summoned again on Saturday. 

Mr. Vadra’s questioning started around 11.30 a.m. and continued for about two hours, after which he stepped out for lunch and then rejoined the probe. He left the ED office around 9.15 pm. Ms. Vadra had come to pick him up.

On Wednesday, Mr. Vadra was examined by the investigating team for over five hours. Earlier this month, he had approached a city court seeking anticipatory bail in the matter. His counsel submitted before the court that he was then abroad and would join the probe on February 6. Accordingly, the court granted him protection till February 16.

Mr. Vadra has denied all the allegations. In his bail plea, he had alleged that he was being subjected to unwarranted, unjustified and malicious criminal prosecution which on the face of it was completely politically motivated and was being carried out for reasons other than those prescribed under law.

It is learnt that during questioning, the agency confronted him with some email exchanges pertaining to a London property located at 12,Bryanston Square, worth 1.9 million pounds. The Directorate has alleged that the property, which was sold in 2010 at the same price despite incurring expenses due to renovation works, was beneficially controlled by him.

The ED, which sees an alleged link between the overseas assets and some petroleum deal in 2009, is also probing the ownership of another house and six flats located in London.

Robert Vadra Appears Before ED Office For Round 2 Questioning

In connection with the INX Media case, Robert Vadra, the brother-in-law of Congress President Rahul Gandhi appeared before the Enforcement Directorate (ED) for round two of questioning on Thursday. Karti Chidambaram, businessman and a member of Congress was also there. 

A day earlier, Vadra was questioned by the Enforcement Directorate for about five-and-a half hours in its money laundering probe into alleged possession of illegal foreign assets, days after he was directed by a city court to appear before the central probe agency.

Vadra’s wife Priyanka Gandhi accompanied him in a white Toyota Land Cruiser and dropped him outside the ED’s office in Jamnagar House, a move seen as sending a political message to Congress’s opponents ahead of Lok Sabha polls.

Vadra left the office at about 9:40 PM alone in the same car in which Priyanka had dropped him. His lawyer said Vadra has replied to every question that was put to him.

“All charges against him are wrong. We will cooperate with the agency 100 per cent. He will come whenever he is called,” Suman Jyoti Khaitan, his lawyer told the mediapersons waiting outside the ED office. Officials said Vadra has been called again Thursday.

Priyanka, shortly after dropping her husband, took charge as AICC general secretary in-charge of Uttar Pradesh East, after her formal induction into the Congress party on January 23. “He is my husband, he is my family…I support my family,” Priyanka said in a show of support to Vadra, who returned from London earlier in the day.

Priyanka was asked by newsmen at the All India Congress Committee headquarters whether she was sending any message by dropping her husband at the ED office. Asked if it was a political vendetta, she said everyone knows why this is being done.

On the day of Priyanka’s appointment, Vadra had sent an emotional message to her. “Congratulations P… always by your side in every phase of your life. Give it your best,” Vadra said in a Facebook post.

It is for the first time that Vadra, son-in-law of Sonia Gandhi, is appearing before any probe agency in connection with alleged criminal charges of dubious financial dealings.

After wading through a posse of assembled mediapersons, Vadra entered the ED office at around 3:47 pm, minutes after a team of his lawyers reached the premises. He then signed the attendance register before being taken in for questioning.

Vadra has denied allegations of possessing illegal foreign assets and termed them a political witch hunt against him. He has alleged he was being “hounded and harassed” to subserve political ends.

Ahead of the questioning by a team of three ED officials, official sources said Vadra was put through a dozen questions on transactions, purchase and possession of certain immovable assets in London and his statement was recorded under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act?

It is understood he was also grilled about his links with absconding and controversial defence dealer Sanjay Bhandari and Bhandari’s relative Sumit Chhadha in connection with certain emails recovered by agencies linked to the renovation of a London-based property.

Vadra was directed by a Delhi court on February 2 to cooperate with the probe being carried out by ED after he knocked at its door seeking anticipatory bail in the money laundering case. The court directed him to appear before ED on Wednesday on his return from London.

The BJP seized on the questioning of Vadra to attack the Congress and alleged he got kickbacks from a petroleum and defence deals took place during the UPA regime.

BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra alleged at a news conference that Vadra bought 8 to 9 properties in London from the money he got as kickbacks from a petroleum and a defence deal which took place in 2008-09. Patra did not provide any evidence to back his claim.

Congress spokesperson Abhishek Manu Singhvi claimed the charges against Vadra are “fickle, superficial, non-existent, non-substantive”. The BJP had full four and a half years to investigate but could not find anything, he claimed at a news conference.

The attempt is to mislead, confuse and to create and ambience before election, but people see through this, he said.

The ED case against Vadra relates to allegations of money laundering in the purchase of a London-based property located at 12, Bryanston Square worth 1.9 million GBP (British pounds), which is allegedly owned by him.

The agency had also told the court that it has received information about various new properties in London which belongs to Vadra, including two houses of five and four million each, six other flats and more properties.

The ED had carried out raids in the case in December last year and grilled his aide Manoj Arora, an employee of a firm linked to Vadra, Skylight Hospitality LLP.

The agency had told the court that it filed a PMLA case against Arora after his role cropped up during the probe of another case by the Income Tax Department under the 2015 anti-blackmoney legislation against absconding Bhandari.

It had alleged that the London-based property was bought by Bhandari for 1.9 million GBP and sold in 2010 for the same amount despite incurring additional expenses of approximately 65,900 GBP on its renovation.

“This gives credence to the fact that Bhandari was not the actual owner of the property but it was beneficially owned by Vadra who was incurring expenditure on the renovation of this property,” the ED had claimed before the court.

  1. Arora was a key person in the case and he was aware of Vadra’s overseas undeclared assets, ED had alleged.