New Delhi, May 21 : Arraigned by the Directorate of Enforcement in a case under the provisions of Prevention of Money Laundering Act, Congress president Rahul Gandhi's brother-in-law and businessman Robert Vadra, on Tuesday, sought permission from a special court to go abroad.
Special Judge Arvind Kumar, after hearing the application on behalf of Mr Vadra, adjourned the case for May 24, for further submissions and arguments.
ED had levelled allegations against Mr Vadra of money laundering in the purchase of a London-located property at 12, Bryanston Square worth 1.9 million pounds.
It had alleged that Manoj Arora, an employee of Mr Vadra's Skylight Hospitality LLP, was a key person in the case and he was aware of his overseas undeclared assets and was instrumental in arranging funds. ED alleged that Mr Arora arranged funds for Mr Vadra's undeclared assets overseas and proceeds of crime were used to channel funds from the United Arab Emirates.
An FIR was also lodged against Mr Vadra and Haryana ex-Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda in September last year for alleged irregularities in land deals in Gurgaon. Mr Vadra has faced allegations that his company Skylight Hospitality sold 3.5 acres of land in 2008 in Shikohpur village to realty major DLF at a rate much higher than prevalent. Questions have also been raised over the purchase and subsequent sale of land by the company in Bikaner, Rajasthan, at a significant premium through a maze of transactions.
The business premises linked to Mr Vadra's associates have been raided during the probe and Enforcement Directorate has asked him to be present for questioning in the alleged money laundering case. ED had alleged that the money laundering case was lodged against Mr Arora after his role was unearthed during the probe of another case by the Income Tax Department under the Black Money Act and tax law against absconding arms dealer Sanjay Bhandari.
Directorate of Enforcement had submitted that Mr Vadra was not cooperating with the investigating agency so his custodial interrogation was necessary.
Special Judge Arvind Kumar had directed the investigating agency to provide Mr Vadra all the documents seized from his office. Last month, the court granted bail to Mr Vadra with the conditions of furnishing a surety bond of Rs 5 lakh and a surety of the same amount and not to leave the country without its permission and not to tamper with the evidence.
Counsel for Mr Vadra requested the court to maintain confidentiality of his itinerary due to security reasons and requested further time as the counsel for the prosecution was not available today. UNI