On Robert Vadra's Anticipatory Bail, Enforcement Directorate's Objection

On Robert Vadra's Anticipatory Bail, Enforcement Directorate's Objection

Businessman Robert Vadra is being questioned in a money laundering case.

New Delhi:

The anticipatory bail of Robert Vadra -- who may leave the country soon for medical treatment -- was challenged by the Enforcement Directorate today, opening up the possibility of his arrest. The agency has accused the businessman of non-cooperation and evasive conduct during questioning in a corruption case.

Mr Vadra, the husband of Congress's Priyanka Gandhi Vadra and brother-in-law of party chief Rahul Gandhi, was questioned for the 13th time today in a money laundering case involving a London-based property worth 1.9 million pounds.

The agency has compiled 10 instances of the times Mr Vadra's answers contradicted with that of his associates. It also cited 18 instances of what it called evasive answering.

Challenging the anticipatory bail in court on May 24, the agency said all of this is ground for custodial interrogation, which means he will be arrested.

While granting anticipatory bail to Mr Vadra on April 1, a special court had asked him to cooperate with the probe. On Monday, the court allowed him to travel abroad to the US and Netherlands for six weeks.

Mr Vadra had wished to go to London, but the agency opposed it, saying he is being investigated for a property based in London. The court had agreed.

Mr Vadra has denied the allegations of possessing illegal foreign assets and termed it a case of political witch hunt. He said he was being "hounded and harassed" to sub-serve political ends.

This morning, as he went to the agency's office for another round of questioning, a he posted on Facebook: "As I make my way for the 13th time, post almost 80 hours with the Enforcement Directorate, answering any number of questions, amidst sensation and unnecessary drama around, I stay focused and calm... My life is unique and I have been battling allegations".

In a message, seemingly directed at the media, he also wrote that "blatantly and carelessly airing my health matters is not correct", and said after "fighting over baseless accusations for almost a decade", he is "determined on the truth and it is a book in the making, for the world to read and know clearly, my side ..."

Over the last years, the BJP has relentlessly targeted the Congress over the corruption allegations against Robert Vadra. His questioning, coming ahead of the Lok Sabha elections, became another flashpoint between the Centre and the opposition in the backdrop of Congress allegations of corruption in the Rafale jet deal.