Delhi’s Patiala House court on Saturday extended the interim bail granted to businessman Robert Vadra in a money laundering case till March 19, PTI reported. Vadra is Congress President Rahul Gandhi’s brother-in-law and the husband of the party’s General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi.
The court asked Vadra to join the investigation whenever he is needed. The Enforcement Directorate told the court that Vadra was not cooperating in the inquiry and it needed to question him further. Advocate KTS Tulsi, appearing for Vadra, however, said he had already joined the investigation and was cooperating with officials.
The interim bail will continue till the next date of hearing. The court also extended the protection for arrest granted to Vadra’s close aide Manoj Arora till March 19 and asked him to join the probe.
The investigation is related to allegations that Vadra used laundered money to buy real estate in the United Kingdom. Vadra appeared before the Enforcement Directorate in Delhi several times for questioning last month. The Enforcement Directorate has alleged that the property, worth £1.9 million (Rs 17.5 crore), was bought using profits from “criminal acts”. The money was reportedly channeled through the United Arab Emirates. The investigation is being conducted under the provisions of the Black Money Act.
Vadra had filed an anticipatory bail application in the case, alleging that he was being subjected to “unwarranted, unjustified and malicious criminal prosecution”, which he said was politically motivated.
The court had on February 16 extended the interim bail granted to Vadra till March 2. It had also directed him to cooperate with the investigation.
Separately, Vadra is also being investigated in the Bikaner land scam case under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act. The agency has accused Vadra’s firm Skylight Hospitality of buying and selling the land in Bikaner at an extremely high price after several illegal transactions. On February 15, the Enforcement Directorate had attached Vadra’s assets in connection with the scam.