Robert Vadra reaches ED office
Robert Vadra, brother-in-law of Congress president Rahul Gandhi, on Friday appeared before the Enforcement Directorate where he will be questioned on his London property. On February 20, Vadra was questioned by the ED for about three hours in connection with a money-laundering case, officials said.
Vadra reached the agency's office at Jamnagar House in central Delhi at around 10:30 am along with his lawyers and left after about three hours of questioning, they added. The businessman told the investigating officer (IO) of the case that he was not well and hence, the recording of his statement was discontinued, the officials said.
They added that Vadra was expected to join the probe again on Friday. On Wednesday, it was a scheduled appearance of Vadra before the ED in a criminal complaint related to allegations of money laundering to purchase assets abroad, the officials said.
A group of Vadra's supporters raised slogans in his favour outside the ED office, before being dispersed by the police. Vadra had skipped the summons on Tuesday, citing bad health. He was questioned by the ED sleuths in connection with the 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 and worth 1.9 million pounds, which is allegedly owned by the businessman in a "benami" way.
The agency had told the court that it had received information about various new properties in London that belonged to Vadra. These include two houses -- one worth 5 million pounds and the other valued at 4 million pounds -- six flats and other assets.
Vadra has denied the allegation of possessing illegal foreign assets and termed it a political witch-hunt against him. He has said he is being "hounded and harassed" to subserve political ends.
The statement of the businessman 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 Vadra, recently appointed Congress general secretary in-charge of eastern Uttar Pradesh, accompanied him to the investigating agency's office and picked him up after questioning another time.
Vadra had also deposed before the ED twice in Jaipur in connection with another money-laundering case related to an alleged land scam in Bikaner. His mother Maureen too was questioned by the agency once during the same deposition.