The Delhi High Court today (Monday, May 27) issued a notice to businessman and Congress president Rahul Gandhi’s brother-in-law Robert Vadra on Enforcement Directorate’s (ED) plea against the anticipatory bail given to him in a money laundering case, said media reports.
Justice Chander Shekhar directed Vadra to respond to ED’s plea and posted the case for hearing on July 17.
The ED had moved the court on Friday against the anticipatory bail, granted to the two by a special CBI court on April 1, contending that, “In all likelihood, the respondent (Vadra) is likely to tamper with the evidence and the witnesses of the case.”
Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for ED, said the trail court “completely missed the gravity” of the offence. “It is a clear case of black money and money laundering…He (Vadra) was asked to cooperate, he didn’t,” Mehta said, adding that the agency need Vadra’s custody “otherwise we will not reach the truth”.
Mehta said no chargesheet has been filed when enquired by the judge.
In the petition, ED said, “The bald denials to the basic facts, contrary to the records of the case, by the respondent only highlights his non-cooperative and evasive attitude.”
The agency said Vadra, instead of dispelling doubts and coming clean about his role in the case, has remained evasive throughout. ED’s case against Vadra relates to alleged purchase of a London-based property worth 1.9 million pounds.
“The Special Judge has failed to appreciate that the respondent is a highly influential person. If he is granted a blanket protection of bail, there is all likelihood that the respondent shall tamper with the evidence and would influence witnesses,” the ED said.
This, the agency said, would also be detrimental to the investigation of the instant case with a free hand by the investigating officers on certain crucial aspects of the case.
Robert Vadra, brother-in-law of Congress president Rahul Gandhi, is facing allegations of money laundering in purchase of a London-based property at 12, Bryanston Square worth 1.9 million pounds (over Rs. 17 crore).
The case is being probed under the provisions of Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).