- Robert Vadra appears before Enforcement Directorate for questioning
- Wife Priyanka Gandhi Vadra dropped him to the agency's office
- He was called as part of probe into alleged illegal property deals
Businessman Robert Vadra was dropped by wife Priyanka Gandhi Vadra at the office of the Enforcement Directorate in Delhi this morning. He was asked to appear before the probe agency for questioning, as part of investigation into alleged illegal property deals.
Earlier this morning, Mr Vadra, said he has been questioned for 70 hours by government agencies so far. He is being investigated over allegations of money-laundering and illegal land deals.
The case for which he was called today involves the purchase of properties in London, Dubai, Rajasthan and the National Capital Region. This is the ninth time time he is being called for questioning in the illegal property case.
"Till date, I have deposed 11 times with questioning of approximately 70 hours. In future also, I will cooperate as always, till my name is cleared of all false allegations and accusations," Mr Vadra wrote in a Facebook post this morning. The post also has his photo in which a small image of his great-grandfather-in-law Jawaharlal Nehru can be seen behind him.
Priyanka Gandhi, who has maintained that she stands by husband, had accompanied him to the Enforcement Directorate office in February. "I stand by my husband," she had told NDTV, adding that she wanted to send a "clear message" by her appearance. She had gone to Jaipur in February when Mr Vadra and his mother were called by the agency for an earlier round of questioning.
"I maintain my belief in the Indian judiciary is unshakeable I have and will adhere to all summons/norms of the government agencies," he wrote.
Investigators claim that Robert Vadra, directly or indirectly, owns nine properties in London cumulatively worth around 12 million pounds. Three of these are villas, the rest, luxury flats. All these were purchased between 2005 and 2010, when the Congress-led UPA government was in power.
The Enforcement Directorate told the Delhi High Court that it required Robert Vadra's custody as he was not cooperating in the investigation and that the trial court had not discussed the gravity of the offence in its order that gave him relief.
He was called for questioning today because, according to sources in the probe agency, new evidences in the benami (illegal) property case have been found.
The allegations involve the purchase of a mansion at 12, Bryanston Square in London, which has an estimated value of 1.9 million pounds. Robert Vadra has also been battling allegations of shadowy land deals in Haryana and Rajasthan.
Before the national election, the BJP had relentlessly targeted the Congress over the allegations against Robert Vadra, who has called the matter a "political witch hunt". But in view of possible arrest, he had sought bail in advance from a court in Delhi. A trial court had given him protection from arrest in April, following which the Enforcement Directorate approached the Delhi High Court seeking cancelling of the anticipatory bail.
A Delhi court Wednesday reserved for June 3 its order on application of Robert Vadra to travel abroad.