Court extends protection from arrest for Vadra

Court extends protection from arrest for Vadra

Robert Vadra

A Delhi court on Saturday extended the interim protection from arrest to Robert Vadra, the brother-in-law of Congress president Rahul Gandhi till March 19 in a case of money laundering being investigated by the Enforcement Directorate.

Special Judge Arvind Kumar, who has earlier provided him the relief, further extended it.

The court also granted similar protection to Manoj Arora, an associate of Vadra.

Meanwhile, the Enforcement Directorate handed over a bunch of documents sought by Vadra's counsel.

Vadra had earlier joined the investigation by appearing before the Enforcement Directorate. The agency alleged it had got the information that Vadra received kickbacks in 2009 in a petroleum deal.

The instant case related to alleged acquisition of overseas properties by Vadra through the money arranged by his associates.

According to the ED's counsel, there was a question of 1.9 million pounds of property, besides other cases of 4 and 5 million of money laundering. Vadra had acquired six flats overseas in his possession, he claimed.

The agency said it has got the information about various new properties in London which belonged to Vadra including two houses of five and four million each, six other flats and more properties.

Vadra has sought pre-arrest bail claiming that he was being targeted and was being subjected to false prosecution which has a "colour of political witch hunt".

He also contended that he was a law abiding citizen and the case was "nothing but a political vendetta".

Vadra also submitted that he was socially active and had strong roots in society. Being a family man, there was no chance for him to abscond.

Arora is alleged to be an employee of Vadra's firm Skylight Hospitality LLP. He was being investigated on charges of money laundering for purchase of London properties worth 1.9 million pounds allegedly owned by Vadra.

The money laundering case came to be lodged after Income Tax department was probing allegations of black money against absconding arms dealer Sanjay Bhandari.