Money laundering case: Vadra to appear before ED tomorrow

New Delhi: The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Monday summoned UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi’s son-in-law Robert Vadra to appear before it here on Tuesday for questioning in money laundering case linked to purchase of his London based property.

A Delhi court had over the weekend extended interim bail of Vadra and his close aide Manoj Arora till March 2 in connection with the case.

During the hearing, the ED’s counsel informed the Patiala House Court that the agency will require Vadra to appear four or five times more to carry forward the ongoing probe in the case.

The counsel also raised the issue of a large media contingent following Vadra during all his appearances and said, “He (Robert Vadra) is accompanied by a “baraat” wherever he goes, whether to ED or to court.”

Senior advocate KTS Tulsi, who appeared for Vadra and Arora, said that his clients have no problem in appearing for interrogation. “Robert Vadra has appeared on 6th Feb, 7th Feb, and 9th Feb. My client doesn’t have a problem if they want to interrogate him for 5 days or 10 days,” Tulsi said.

He also informed the court that cumulative questioning of his client (Vadra) lasted for 23 hours 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, the Jodhpur court today set March 15 as the next date of hearing in the Bikaner land deal case.

A money laundering case was registered by the ED in September 2015, claiming that Skylight Hospitality had acquired land in Kolayat village of Bikaner which was meant for the rehabilitation of the poor villagers.

It was alleged that Vadra bought 69.55 hectares of land at a cheaper rate and then sold the land to Allegheny Finlease for Rs 5.15 crore through illegal transactions.

In the Bikaner land scam case, fraudsters in collusion with the state government officials allegedly got land allotted in the name of fictitious individuals, though the land was actually meant for the people who were displaced due to the creation of Mahajan Field Firing range.

The fraudsters created forged allotment letters purportedly issued by the Colonisation Department of the state government and 1,422 ‘bighas’ of land was recorded in revenue record in the name of fictitious allottees without due verification of the allotment letters from the concerned department.