Cong slams ED raids
On Vadra’s office, staff
The Congress on Saturday reacted sharply to the enforcement directorate''s "illegal" raids on the Delhi office of Robert Vadra, brother-inlaw of Rahul Gandhi, and his four employees detained for hours that began on Friday and continued till early morning of Saturday. Its spokesman Abhishek Manu Singhvi told a press conference here that Vadra in person has not been summoned nor made an accused in the case pursued by the BJP government in Rajasthan for past five years in a political vindictiveness in alleged land scam in Bikaner district. He pointed out that Vadra did not figure in the FIR registered five years ago nor in the charge-sheet and a supplementary charge-sheet filed in courts while the ED issued nearly 50 summons in the past five years but none to Vadra but only to Manoj Arora as his authorised representative of Skylight.
Singhvi said the ED targetted Vadra''s associate, his sister and her in-laws in Noida, all without any FIR or search warrant and the raids were carried out in a completely illegal fashion with no employee or lawyer
permitted to enter the premises. He said all the four deained employees were physically roughed up and assaulted and threatened with "dandas."
Asserting that all constitutional, legal and administrative norms have been thrown into a dustbin to target and tarnish an individual for sheer petty political reasons, he said the government has unleashed all its agencies, including ED, CBI and Income Tax, to victimise Vadra in an utterly mala fide manner.
He said in the eagerness and tearing hurry to persecute, the Modi government''s agencies ran roughshod over the fundamental rights of private citizens who have no dealings with Vadra or his businesses, making a mockery of the rule of law. Singhvi, who is also a senior advocate practising in the Supreme Court, pointed out that the Rajasthan High Court at Jodhpur pulled up the ED for actions without showing the predicate offence. Only recently it listed the predicate offence but that too not against Vadra but against Arora and one Mahesh. Noting that Vadra learnt about the summon also issued to him as chairman of Skylight from newspapers on Saturday morning, Singhvi said he has so far not received any such summons. He said no ECIR has been also received by Vadra till date. He condemned the way Manoj Arora, his sister, paralysed husband of his sister and his 80year old mother-in-law and a five-year old child were threatened and harassed by ED during the raids. He said it is only the repeat of accountant Rajesh Khurana, a consultant of Vadra, was umpteen times summoned by the ED despite his plea that he had suffered brain hemorrhage and ultimately he died at the age of 58.
Singhvi pointed out that the EC swung into action without processing 600 pages of replies filed by Vadra''s lawyers in Court on November 26 and December 5.
The raids mounted just hours before the Rajasthan Assembly elections show the vindictiveness launched by the Modi government to divert attention from his BJP losing the Assembly elections, Singhvi said.