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National

Court grants anticipatory bail to Vadra

Agency News

New Delhi, Feb 2 (UNI) A Delhi Court on Saturday granted anticipatory bail to Robert Vadra, husband of Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi-Vadra, in a case registered by the Directorate of Enforcement (ED) under the provisions of Prevention of Money Laundering Act.

The ED made allegations of Money Laundering in the purchase of a London-based property located at 12, Bryanston Square worth 1.9 million pounds, allegedly owned by Vadra.

The court had earlier granted interim protection from arrest to Manoj Arora, the close aide till February 6.

Counsel for Vadra submitted in the anticipatory bail that he was being targeted and was being subjected to false prosecution which has a colour of political witch hunt and that he was a law abiding citizen.

Similarly, Manoj Arora had alleged earlier before the court that the case was foisted on him by the NDA Government out of "political vendetta".

The ED had refuted the allegations. It submitted that the money laundering case was lodged against Arora after his role came up during the probe of another case by the Income Tax Department under the newly-enacted Black Money Act and tax law against absconding arms dealer Sanjay Bhandari.

It had further alleged that the London-based property was bought by Bhandari for GBP 1.9 million and sold in 2010 for the same amount despite incurring additional expenses of approximately GBP 65,900 on its renovation which gives credence to the fact that Bhandari was not the actual owner of the property but it was beneficially owned by Vadra who was incurring expenditure on the renovation of this property. It was alleged that Arora, an employee of Vadra's Skylight Hospitality LLP, was a key person in the case and he was aware of the latter's overseas undeclared assets and was instrumental in arranging the funds.

Special Judge Arvind Kumar, after hearing arguments on behalf of Government Counsel and Defence Counsel granted the anticipatory bail to Vadra.

UNI