The Patiala House Court in Delhi on Saturday granted interim protection from arrest to businessman Robert Vadra till February 16 in a money laundering case filed by the Enforcement Directorate, ANI reported.
Special judge Arvind Kumar asked Vadra to appear before the Enforcement Directorate on February 6 and cooperate in the investigation. “I am granting him interim bail. Let him come and join the probe,” PTI quoted the judge as saying.
Vadra, brother-in-law of Congress President Rahul Gandhi, had moved the court on Friday seeking anticipatory bail.
The Enforcement Directorate has alleged that profits from “criminal acts” were used to fund the purchase of property at 12 Bryanston Square in London worth £1.9 million for Vadra. The money was reportedly channeled through the United Arab Emirates. The plea said the investigation was being conducted under the provisions of the Black Money Act.
Appearing for the agency, special public prosecutor DP Singh and advocate Nitesh Rana opposed Vadra’s bail, claiming that he had got kickbacks in a petroleum deal in 2009, PTI reported. “We just want him to come and inform about his properties,” Rana told the court.
In his anticipatory bail plea, Vadra alleged he was subjected to “unwarranted, unjustified and malicious criminal prosecution” which was politically motivated. He also claimed that he was being “hounded and harassed” to subserve political ends.
“The petitioner is being subjected to a farce criminal prosecution which actually is beset with nothing else except political vendetta and most unfortunately the respondent being the law enforcement agency is a party to the unethical and illegal exercise,” the plea said.
On January 11, the court granted his associate Manoj Arora interim protection from arrest in connection with the case until February 6. The investigating agency told the court on January 19 that Arora was cooperating with the investigators, PTI reported. Arora has accused the Bharatiya Janata Party-led National Democratic Alliance of implicating him in the case because of “political vendetta”. The Enforcement Directorate, however, has refuted the allegations.
In December, the Enforcement Directorate had searched three properties owned by Vadra and his aides.