ED raids Vadra’s of­fice, premises of close aides in land deal case

Mint ST - - NEWS - [email protected] NEW DELHI Searches were car­ried out at Robert Vadra’s of­fice in South Delhi’s Sukhdev Vi­har, and the premises of his close aides in Bengaluru In Sep 2015, ED had reg­is­tered a case al­leg­ing that Vadra had bought land in Ra­jasthan at

Probe agency cracked down on Robert Vadra af­ter is­su­ing sum­mons to him for the third time on Fri­day

En­force­ment direc­torate (ED) of­fi­cials on Fri­day searched premises linked to Robert Vadra in con­nec­tion with a probe into a 2012 land deal, spell­ing fur­ther trou­ble for for­mer Congress pres­i­dent Sonia Gandhi’s son-in-law.

The of­fi­cials reached Vadra’s of­fice in South Delhi’s Sukhdev Vi­har area at 11am, ac­cord­ing to peo­ple fa­mil­iar with the de­vel­op­ment. Searches were also car­ried out in premises be­long­ing to Vadra’s close aides in Bengaluru.

The ED cracked down on Vadra af­ter is­su­ing sum­mons to him for the third time on Fri­day, ask­ing him to ap­pear be­fore the agency, as Vadra had ig­nored the pre­vi­ous two.

In Septem­ber 2015, the ED reg­is­tered a crim­i­nal case un­der the Preven­tion of Money Laun­der­ing Act, al­leg­ing that Sky­light Hospi­tal­ity owned by him had bought a piece of land in Ko­layat, Ra­jasthan, at a throw­away price and sold it at an ex­tremely high pre­mium through il­le­gal trans­ac­tions.

Sky­light Hospi­tal­ity pur­chased 69.55 hectares of land for ₹72 lakh and sold it to Al­legeny Fin­lease for ₹5.15 crore, mak­ing a profit of ₹4.43 crore, ac­cord­ing to ED of­fi­cials who re­quested anonymity.

While Vadra has termed the agency’s re­peated sum­mons a “witch hunt”, the Congress has la­belled it a tac­tic of the Naren­dra Modi-led Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) gov­ern­ment to di­vert at­ten­tion from the on­go­ing Assem­bly elec­tions.

“Sure shot de­feat in 5 States un­nerves Modi Govt to again use the old tools—un­leash re­venge & vendetta against Mr. Robert Vadra to di­vert the nar­ra­tive. Such cow­ardice & in­tim­i­da­tion will not sub­ju­gate ei­ther the Congress Party or the will of peo­ple,” Congress spokesper­son Randeep Surjewala said on Twit­ter.

“The ED has force­fully raided the of­fice premises. They en­tered with­out show­ing their ID cards and search war­rants,” Vadra’s lawyer Su­man Jy­oti Khai­tan told re­porters out­side the Sky­light Hospi­tal­ity of­fice in Sukhdev Vi­har.

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