The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has issued the third summons to Robert Vadra, Congress President Rahul Gandhi’s brother in law, in Bikaner land deal money laundering case after he failed to appear in first two summons, reports Times of India. In the previous summons issued last week, Vadra reportedly sent his representative when the summons was for his personal appearance.
The ED is investigating the money laundering charges on the basis of FIR registered by CBI in August last year to look into the allegations that a firm connected to Robert Vadra executed some land deals which violated various laws.
Skylight Hospitality Private Limited, a real estate firm Vadra is associated with, is accused of fraudulently acquiring land in Bikaner which was meant for rehabilitation of poor villagers. Skylight Hospitality has also been allegedly involved in similar transactions in Haryana and a probe was earlier recommended by the Justice SN Dhingra commission against Bhupinder Singh Hooda alleging that Hooda and some of his government officials have been involved in suspicious land deals with Skylight Hospitality. Skylight Hospitality is also under Income Tax scanner for alleged irregularities in financial transactions in their land deals in Rajasthan and Haryana.
Vadra was first issued summons by the ED in the first week of November followed by the second summons on 24th November, both of which he failed to appear in.
In September 2015, the Enforcement Directorate had registered a criminal case under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), alleging that Sky Light Hospitality, owned by Robert Vadra, had bought a piece of land in Kolayat, Bikaner, on the cheap and sold it at an extremely high premium through illegal transactions.
In April this year, the ED attached land belonging to Jaiprakash Bagarawa, who is believed to be a close aide of Vadra in connection with the Bikaner land scam. As per reports, the agency has the powers to seek judicial custodial interrogation if the accused is wilfully avoiding joining the investigation.