Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi’s husband, Robert Vadra, who is accused of being involved in dubious land deals and is also facing probe in money laundering case, has now been asked to appear before the Enforcement Directorate on February 12. Yesterday, Vadra was grilled for hours at the ED office yesterday where his wife, Congress General Secretary had dropped him off.
Today, after reaching the ED office an hour late, as per reports, Vadra was reportedly grilled over his London based properties. According to Republic, he has been asked to give answers to ED’s questions in writing. As per reports, Vadra is currently being questioned by a team led by Joint Director and two Deputy Directors in connection with the money laundering case.
Vadra has been summoned by the Enforcement Directorate in connection to the money laundering case and dubious land deal cases. He had applied for anticipatory bail in the court earlier this month after a fresh money laundering case was filed by the Enforcement Directorate (ED). The case filed under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) against Skylight Hospitality firm owned by Vadra. The case is in relation to alleged financial irregularities in land deals in Gurgaon, Haryana in 2008.
In January, Rajasthan High Court had summoned Robert Vadra and his mother to appear before the ED in connection to the Bikaner land deal case.
The case pertains to a land deal in which Sky Light Hospitality had allegedly purchased a plot in Bikaner, Rajasthan. The ED had registered a case under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) in this matter in 2015, after the state police had filed FIRs based on a complaint by local tehsildar alleging forgery in the deal. It is alleged that Skylight had sold 69.55 hectares of land to Allegeny Finlease at ₹7.41 lakh per hectare, but it had purchased the land at the rate of ₹ 1 lakh per hectare. Mahesh Nagar, an authorised representative of several companies linked to Vadra, had bought and sold land on behalf of Skylight Hospitality.
The amount used by Allegeny Finlease to buy the land came from a loan given by Bhushan Power and Steel company (BSPL). In the same year, BSPL was granted an exemption of ₹500 crore by the Income Tax Settlement Commission (ITSC), a decision which has come under the scanner.
The state government had cancelled the transfer of 374.44 hectares of land sold in various deals after it was found that land allotments were made in the name of fake persons. It is alleged that land meant to expand army’s firing range was grabbed by the land mafia through forged and fabricated documents.
We had reported yesterday that posters featuring Robert Vadra have appeared outside Congress headquarters welcoming his wife and Rahul Gandhi’s sister Priyanka Gandhi Vadra formally in the party. Later, the posters were later removed from AICC headquarters by the NDMC.
However, with Priyanka Gandhi accompanying him to the ED office yesterday sent out a strong message that the Congress is firmly standing shoulder to shoulder with Vadra as he faces probe in the money laundering case.