Robert Vadra, son-in-law of Congress president Sonia Gandhi, can’t recollect the source of funds used to buy land in Bikaner, and he had seen the plots of land only on Google Maps. This is what Vadra has told Enforcement Directorate during his interrogation, according to reports.
Robert Vadra is accused of illegally purchasing land at a cheap price which was allotted to non-existent individuals by some corrupt officials, and later the same was sold at an extremely high premium. The translations were done by Sky Light Hospitality, owned by Robert Vadra.
Both the ED and the CBI are probing the Bikaner land scam, where Vadra’s company had purchased land in two villages in Bikaner for a few lakhs. According to ED, lands in Gajner and Goyalri in Bikaner were purchased by Sky Light Hospitality for Rs 72 lakhs, and later they were sold for Rs 5.15 crore to Allegency Finlease. The windfall gain of Rs 4.43 crore made from this transaction was used by Vadra to purchase a house in New Delhi. This property has been attached by the ED in relation to the case.
When ED asked Vadra the source of fund used to purchase the land in Rajasthan, Vadra said that he could not recall the same. He said that the funds may have been arranged from the company’s income and it was done through banking channels. He also said that he didn’t visit the site of the plots, and only saw them on Google Map, which was shown to him by Mahesh Nagar, an authorised representative of the company. Vadra said that he didn’t visit Bikaner before purchase and later sale of the plots, and he also didn’t go through the paperwork for the same which was handled by a person named Rajesh Khurana.
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Vadra told ED that “it appears” that money received from the sale of land in Bikaner was used to buy a house at 268, Sukhdev Nagar, New Delhi, when he was shown bank statements of his company and the sale deed.
Mahesh Nagar, a Congress leader, was given power of attorney by Sky Light Hospitality to deal in properties on behalf of the company. He had said that as Vadra can’t visit everywhere to buy and sell land, he was given that responsibility by the company. Earlier OpIndia had accessed land sale deeds which were executed by Mahesh Nagar on behalf of Robert Vadra.
The money that Allegeny Finlease Pvt Ltd paid Vadra’s company for purchasing the land in Bikaner had come as a loan from Bhushan Power and Steel. At the same period, Bhushan power was granted an exemption of Rs 500 crore in a tax demand by the Income Tax Settlement Commission. Earlier the I-T department had issued notices to the company for income over several years totalling over Rs 800 crore, but ITSC had brought it down to Rs 317 crore.