Robert Vadra, the brother-in-law of Congress President Rahul Gandhi, appeared before the Enforcement Directorate on Tuesday in connection with a money laundering case linked to purchase of alleged illegal assets abroad, officials said. Vadra arrived at the agency’s office near India Gate around 10:45 AM. He had skipped the summons on May 31, citing bad health.
Vadra was grilled for about five hours last Thursday when the investigating officer of the case recorded his statement under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act. Vadra, before deposing before the agency Tuesday, issued a statement on social media saying he was undertaking the questioning exercise 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.”
But, he added, “blatantly and carelessly airing my health matters is not correct…but my time spent with people with worst problems, ailing, blind and orphaned kids to see them still smile, gives me the strength to go on.” “My life is unique and I have fought for almost a decade over baseless accusations.Physically situations can change, but ones honest mind cannot. I am determined on the truth and it is a book in the making, for the world to read and know clearly, my side…,” he said.
Vadra’s comment on his health came as a Delhi court on Monday allowed him to travel abroad for six weeks for a checkup and obtain a second opinion on his ailment. Vadra has appeared before the ED multiple times in connection with this case as also in an another criminal money laundering case related to alleged irregularities of land allotment in Rajasthan’s Bikaner district.
In this case, the businessman has appeared for the 11th time while in the Bikaner case he has deposed twice before the ED at its Jaipur office. The agency recently sought cancellation of the anticipatory bail given to Vadra and had also opposed his plea for foreign travel. The ED had maintained in courts that it required Vadra’s custody as he was not cooperating with the investigation.
The ED case against Vadra relates to allegations of money laundering in the purchase of a London-based property at 12, Bryanston Square worth 1.9 million GBP (British pounds), which is allegedly owned by him. The agency had told a Delhi court that it has received information about various new properties in London which belong to Vadra. These include two houses, one worth 5 million GBP and the other valued at 4 million GBP, six other flats and more properties. Vadra has denied the allegations of possessing illegal foreign assets and termed them a political witch hunt against him. He said he was being “hounded and harassed” to subserve political ends.