A Delhi court today (Tuesday, March 19) extended Robert Vadra’s anticipatory bail till March 25 and directed him to join the Enforcement Directorate (ED) probe after the agency told the court he was not cooperating and sought permission for his custodial interrogation.
Vadra’s lawyer, however, said that Vadra will provide 100 per cent cooperation to the investigative agency.
Special judge Arvind Kumar granted the relief to Vadra, brother-in-law of Congress president Rahul Gandhi and husband of Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra.
Vadra had filed an anticipatory bail petition in the case related to allegations of money laundering in the purchase of a London-based property at 12, Bryanston Square worth 1.9 million pounds. The property is allegedly owned by Vadra. On February 16, the court had extended his protection from arrest till today.
The ED is probing whether Vadra purchased it through absconding arms dealer Sanjay Bhandari. ED had also said it has received information about various new properties in London which allegedly belong to Vadra, including two houses of five and four million pounds each, six other flats and more properties.
Vadra has denied the allegations against him and dubbed it a “political witch-hunt.” Vadra has appeared before ED multiple times in connection with the case and on February 16 was granted protection from arrest till today.
Special Public Prosecutor DP Singh informed the court that in spite of several opportunities, Vadra has not been cooperating, said media reports. “Despite being given multiple opportunities, we don’t see him,” he said.
ED told the court that it has collected “ample evidence” in the form of e-mails and other materials which shows the involvement of Vadra in “undisclosed overseas assets”. “Form the investigation so far, it is revealed that the Petitioner is involved in commission in the offense of cross border and domestic money laundering. He is the beneficial owner of various properties under investigation in the instant case, which have been acquired through proceeds of crime.”
It is also stated, “His conduct during the investigation so far raises more apprehensions that he is a key in unearthing the modus operandi and the black money.”
The agency sought rejection of Vadra’s anticipatory bail plea, claiming that the investigation in the case is ongoing and is at a crucial stage.
The case was, however, adjourned today for detailed arguments on March 25.