ED searches premises of people linked to Vadra's office (Lead)
New Delhi : The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Friday said it searched the premises of some persons linked to the firms of Robert Vadra, brother-in-law of Congress President Rahul Gandhi, in connection with alleged commissions received by some people in defence deals, official sources said.
The sources refused to share the details of the defence deals.
The source said that the searches were carried out at three places in the national capital region and in Bengaluru.
According to an ED source, the searches at the Sukhdev Vihar office of Skylight Hospitality began at 11 a.m.
An earlier story had wrongly mentioned that the ED searched the office of Vadra in connection with its ongoing investigation into Kolayat land deal case in Rajasthan.
In a statement, Vadra's lawyer Suman Jyoti Khaitan described the searches as "politics of revenge and malicious vendetta".
"For five years, the present rulers have used every trick in the book to persecute, to hound and to malign my client, Vadra. Government has unleashed all its agencies including ED, CBI and Income Tax to victimize Vadra in an utterly mala fide manner and to harm his reputation and attack his family members," Khaitan said.
He said that in a brazen affront to the rule of law and "as part of this sinister agenda, officers of ED from Jaipur and Delhi raided the office at Sukhdev Vihar, New Delhi, as also the residence of his associate at Noida.
"The raids have been continuing since morning in a completely illegal fashion with no employee or lawyer permitted to enter the premises," he said.
"What is more shocking is that government or ED did not even wait for the staff to open the office, despite being requested to so by our law."
The officers illegally broke open the doors and locks and entered the office. They also broke open the locks of all the cabins in the office. ED officers are inside the office and have neither permitted the lawyers nor any representative entry.
The lawyer said: "This is inspite of the fact that Vadra has adhered to notice/summon by every agency for several years and supplied every document asked for and co-operated fully.
"All this has been done without even registration of an offence or an FIR against my client, Vadra."
He alleged that the ED may plant false, fabricated and incriminating material in Vadra's office.
"This is solely a desperate attempt to divert attention from the main issues facing the nation on the polling day in Rajasthan and Telangana," Khaitan added.