Cong slams ED raids

On Vadra’s of­fice, staff

The Free Press Journal - - FRONT PAGE -

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.

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