The Delhi High Court on Wednesday gave businessman Robert Vadra two more weeks to reply to the Enforcement Directorate’s petition seeking the cancellation of his anticipatory bail in a money laundering case, PTI reported.
On May 27, the court had given Vadra until July 17 to file his response, but he failed to do so. Vadra’s counsel said he was abroad when the court’s notice was served and he returned on July 11. Justice Chander Shekhar accepted Vadra’s plea for additional time and posted the next hearing in the case for September 26.
Vadra was granted the anticipatory bail by a special Central Bureau of Investigation court on April 1, but the Enforcement Directorate challenged the decision in the Delhi High Court. The investigating agency said Vadra had not been cooperating in the investigation, and that if there was a blanket protection of bail, he could tamper with evidence and influence the witnesses in the case. It added that the trial court had failed to notice that he was an influential person.
The agency said Vadra had “maliciously” claimed to be a victim of political vendetta and made all possible attempts to sensationalise the case.
The Enforcement Directorate’s investigation is related to allegations that Vadra, who is Congress leader Rahul Gandhi’s brother-in-law, used laundered money to buy real estate in the United Kingdom. Vadra appeared before the Enforcement Directorate in Delhi several times for questioning in February. The investigating agency has alleged that the property, worth £1.9 million (Rs 17.5 crore), was bought using profits from “criminal acts”. The money was reportedly channelled through the United Arab Emirates. The investigation is being conducted under the provisions of the Black Money Act.
Vadra had filed the anticipatory bail application alleging that he was being subjected to “unwarranted, unjustified and malicious criminal prosecution”, which he alleged was politically motivated. He is also being investigated in the Bikaner land scam case under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act.