Court allows Vadra to travel abroad, imposes conditions

Court allows Vadra to travel abroad, imposes conditions

Businessman Robert Vadra arrives at the Enforcement Directorate (ED) office for questioning in connection with a money laundering case, in New Delhi, Thursday, May 30, 2019. Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra is also seen. (PTI Photo)

 A Delhi court, on Monday, allowed Robert Vadra, accused in a money-laundering case, to travel abroad for six weeks for health reasons, with a warning that he shall not tamper with the evidence.

Special Judge Arvind Kumar allowed Vadra, the brother-in-law of Congress president Rahul Gandhi, to travel to the US and the Netherlands and directed him to submit his travel schedule. The court also imposed various conditions on the businessman.

It, however, did not allow Vadra to go to the UK.

Vadra's counsel KTS Tulsi told the court that his client will not go to the UK, as per his earlier prayer," in view of the objections raised by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) regarding his UK visit."

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta and advocate Nitesh Rana, appearing for the ED, had opposed Vadra's plea, in which he had sought permission to travel to the UK and other countries citing health reasons.

The agency had expressed apprehension that the accused might destroy the evidence collected in the case, if allowed to go to the UK.

Vadra is facing allegations of money laundering in the purchase of a London-based property, located at 12, Bryanston Square and worth 1.9 million pounds.

The court directed Vadra to submit the address of his stay abroad, along with his contact numbers, to the court before his departure.

It also directed him to furnish a bank guarantee of Rs 25 lakh and inform the court about his arrival in India within 24 hours.

"He shall not tamper with the evidence nor try to influence any witness in any manner and shall not use the permission granted to him contrary to the rules. The applicant shall join the investigation within 72 hours of so informed by the investigating officer (IO)," the court said.

Vadra had told the court that according to Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, he had a "small tumour in the large intestine, for the further management of which he can take a second opinion in London if he wishes so."

The ED had opposed the application, saying the medical condition was merely a pretext to go where the laundered money was parked.

The central agency had also told the court that Vadra was linked to alleged arms dealer Sanjay Bhandari in the present case. Bhandari was in London - it said.

Vadra, facing investigation in a case under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), was directed on April 1 not to leave the country without the prior permission of a court, which had granted him anticipatory bail while imposing several conditions.

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