After 5 Hours of Grilling, ED Summons Robert Vadra Again on 7 Feb
The Enforcement Directorate has summoned businessman Robert Vadra again on Thursday, 7 February, after questioning him for five hours in connection with a money laundering case on Wednesday.
Speaking after the questioning on Wednesday, Vadra’s lawyer Suman Jyoti Khaitan said, “He has given an undertaking that he will appear (before the Enforcement Directorate) when summoned.” Khaitan added that Vadra had appeared before the ED on his own, without receiving any summons.
Vadra had arrived at the ED office in Delhi in the afternoon, accompanied by his wife Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, who didn’t get out of the car and left soon afterwards.
Later, arriving at the Congress headquarters, Gandhi – who took charge as the Congress general secretary for UP east on Wednesday – reportedly said, “I stand by my husband. I support my family.”
The money laundering case is in regards to the purchase of a property in London, 12 Bryanston Square, worth 1.9 million pounds. Vadra was questioned under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act.
Vadra is said to have been put through questions on transactions, purchase and possession of certain immovable assets in London.
A Delhi court on 2 February had granted interim bail to Vadra till 16 February in the case and asked him to appear before the ED and cooperate in the investigation.
The court, on 6 February, extended the interim protection of Manoj Arora, a close aide of the businessman, till 16 February as well, in connection with the case.
The property is allegedly owned by Vadra, who is the brother-in-law of Congress President Rahul Gandhi.
The ED had already questioned Vadra’s aide and chartered accountant Arora in this case to find out the source of the fund spent on the purchase of the property in London.
The agency had carried out raids in connection with the case in December last year at Arora’s residence and office. Vadra had then alleged that he had been “harassed” by the agency.
Arora, an employee of Vadra’s Skylight Hospitality LLP, is a key suspect in the case as he is aware of the overseas investments and purchases made by his employer.
Congress, BJP Trade Barbs Over ED Quizzing Vadra
The Congress on Wednesday had slammed the ED’s questioning of Vadra. Addressing a press conference, Congress spokesperson Abhishek Manu Singhvi said, “Election season is on and we expect that every day when a summon is to be answered, there will be a press conference.”
“The attempt is to mislead, confuse and to create an ambience before election, but people see through this,” PTI quoted Singhvi as saying.
ED, Income Tax Department, CBI and 10 other agencies could not do a thing against him (Vadra) for so many years. It shows that this is nothing but an ‘electoral jumla’, he alleged.
Singhvi claimed that the charges against Vadra were "fickle, superficial, non-existent, non-substantive.”
The BJP had four-and-a-half years to investigate, but could not find anything, he claimed.
Meanwhile, the BJP attacked the Congress and Robert Vadra, alleging that he got "kickbacks" from petroleum and defence deals during the UPA regime.
BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra alleged that Vadra “bought eight to nine properties in London” from the money he got as kickbacks in 2008-09 when the UPA was in power.
Patra said he would like to ask Vadra, "What is the formula of becoming crorepati from roadpati?"
Alleging that "corruption" has been the "core agenda" of the Congress party, Patra said:
“Everybody knows every member of the family is out on bail. The 2019 Lok Sabha election is a fight between the gang of corrupt versus transparency of the Narendra Modi government.”Sambit Patra, as quoted by PTI
(With inputs from PTI and ANI.)