In a big development, the Enforcement Directorate on Thursday sought the custody of Congress interim chief Sonia Gandhi's son-in-law Robert Vadra in connection with a money laundering case. The ED made the appeal during the hearing in the Delhi High Court in the plea challenging Robert Vadra's bail. The Delhi HC was hearing ED's plea challenging trial court order which granted anticipatory bail to Robert Vadra and his close aide Manoj Arora in a money laundering case.
During the argument, the ED asked for Robert Vadra's custodial interrogation, alleging he has been evasive and non-cooperative in the investigation in the case. The ED further maintained that the Trial Court which granted anticipatory bail to Robert Vadra did not consider the evidence of direct money coming to Robert Vadra's account in the case. The next date for the hearing has been fixed to November 5.
The probe agency further claimed that there is a direct money trail against the husband of Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, alleging that two big payments have been done in the name of Pilatus and Samsung international. Meanwhile, Robert Vadra's counsel has maintained that Vadra has voluntarily joined the investigation even though he was abroad.
The ED has opposed the anticipatory bail granted to Robert Vadra in the ongoing money-laundering case, accusing him of non-cooperation. Meanwhile, he has maintained that he has not tried to escape investigation or tampered with any evidence. A special Delhi court had earlier allowed the brother-in-law of Congress leader Rahul Gandhi to travel to Spain from September 21 to October 8 for "business purpose". On September 13, he was also granted anticipatory bail in the money laundering case by the court. He was granted bail on the condition that he cannot leave the country without the permission of the court.
The probe agency has maintained that it has reliable evidence against Robert Vadra in the money laundering case. ED had told a Delhi court that it 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. However, Robert Vadra has denied the allegations of possessing illegal foreign assets and termed them a political witch hunt against him.