Robert Vadra gets interim bail till 16 Feb in money laundering case
New Delhi : Priyanka Gandhi's husband, Robert Vadra, who was held in alleged money-laundering case, has been granted interim relief till 16 February. The case is being investigated by the ED and Vadra's lawyer KTS Tulsi assured the court that he will join the ED investigation on 6 February.
To recall, the money laundering case is related to the allegations assocaited in in the purchase of a London-based property, located at at 12, Bryanston Square and worth .9 million pounds. There are allegations that Vadra, husband of Congress’ eastern UP in-charge, Priyanka Gandhi, and brother-in-law of Congress President Rahul Gandhi, has allegedly owned the property.
A lawyer from the trial team confirmed that Vadra has asked anticipatory bail in the case, in which his close aide Manoj Arora was granted interim protection from arrest till February 6 by the court.
On 19 January, the ED had told the court that Arora was cooperating in the investigation.
Arora had earlier alleged before the court that the case was imposed on him by the NDA government out of "political vendetta".
Conversely, the ED had countered the allegations, asking that "should no authority investigate any political because that will be called a political vendetta?" The agency had told the court that it lodged the money-laundering case 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 suspected 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.
"This 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," the ED had told the court.
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 funds, ED had alleged.
In December, the ED had raided three properties owned by Vadra and his advisers.