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Court reserves order on Robert Vadra's bail plea for April 1, extends interim protection till then

Vadra Was Granted Interim Protection From Arrest By A Delhi Court Till March 27.

News Nation Bureau | Edited By : Abhinav Gupta | Updated on: 28 Mar 2019, 04:34:07 PM
Robert Vadra (File Photo)

New Delhi:

A delhi court on Thursday reserved its order on Robert Vadra's bail plea anticipatory bail plea for April 1. The court has till then extended the interim protection granted to the brother-in-law of Congress president Rahul Gandhi. 

Vadra, facing allegations of money laundering in purchase of a London-based property at 12, Bryanston Square worth 1.9 million pounds, was granted interim protection from arrest by a Delhi court till March 27.

The Enforcement Directorate told the court that it needed to question Vadra in the case and opposed his anticipatory bail plea, saying that he was not cooperating in the case. 

Senior advocate K T S Tulsi, appearing for Vadra, had denied all allegations against him and said that he has not misused the liberty granted to him by the court.

Vadra had filed an anticipatory bail application in the case linked to allegations of money laundering in the purchase of a London-based property at 12, Bryanston Square worth GBP 1.9 million. The property is allegedly owned by him.

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

In his anticipatory bail plea, Vadra had said he was being subjected to "unwarranted, unjustified and malicious criminal prosecution which on the face of it is completely politically motivated and is being carried out for reasons other than those prescribed under law".

The plea had said Vadra's office was raided by ED on December 7, 2018 and therefore, he seriously apprehends that his liberty may be curtailed by the investigating agency.

"The petitioner (Vadra) is being subjected to a farce criminal prosecution which actually is beset with nothing else except political vendetta and most unfortunately the respondent (ED) being the law enforcement agency is a party to the unethical and illegal exercise.

"It is stated that the petitioner's (Vadra's) firm through its authorised representative Manoj Arora has already joined investigation with the ED conducting investigation into the affairs of the firm in Rajasthan with their offices at Jaipur on many occasions and has supplied all the relevant documents to the satisfaction of the officials of the ED," the plea had said.

Arora, an employee of Vadra's Skylight Hospitality LLP, was a key person in the case and he was aware of the latter's overseas undeclared assets and was instrumental in arranging funds, the ED had alleged.

Vadra had alleged that he is being "hounded and harassed" to subserve political ends.

"It is stated the the petitioner has highest regard for the due process of law and is always willing to cooperate with the investigation in the highly charged political atmosphere and political contours of the present investigation, he seriously apprehends arrest by the investigating authorities and in such circumstances, the petitioner by means of the present petition is also praying that while he is willing to join investigation with the ED authorities," his plea read.

Arora had alleged before the court that the case was foisted on him by the NDA government out of "political vendetta".

However, the ED had refuted the allegations, asking that "should no authority investigate any political bigwig because that will be called a political vendetta?"

The agency had told the court that it lodged the money laundering case against Arora after his role came up during the probe of another case by the Income Tax Department under the newly enacted Black Money Act and tax law against absconding arms dealer Sanjay Bhandari.

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


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First Published : 28 Mar 2019, 04:17:02 PM

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