The Income Tax Department on Monday recorded the statement of businessman Robert Vadra in connection with a benami property case, India Today reported, citing officials. Vadra is the husband of Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra.
“Robert Vadra was earlier summoned on multiple occasions to record his statement but citing pandemic, he failed to appear,” a senior official of the Income Tax department said. “Today his statement is being recorded in connection with cases of benami properties.” According to the news channel, Vadra is being questioned about the alleged Bikaner and Faridabad land deal scams.
On Monday evening, Vadra said that he was cooperating with the central agency. “We have answered everything,” he said, according to ANI. “It was nothing related to Benami property. Justice and truth will prevail. I have nothing to hide and worry [about]. I will always cooperate.”
The police had in 2015 registered a money laundering case against Vadra, alleging that his firm had acquired land meant for rehabilitation of poor villagers in Rajasthan’s Bikaner, according to NDTV. Vadra-owned Skylight Hospitality had allegedly bought 69.55 hectares of land for Rs 72 lakh and then sold it to Allegeny Finlease for Rs 5.15 crore, earning a profit of Rs 4.43 crore. The Rajasthan Police had filed a case of forgery in the allotment of land in the area.
Further, in 2018, the police had lodged a case against Vadra and former Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda for alleged irregularities in land deals in Gurugram.
Besides these two cases, the Enforcement Directorate is also investigating allegations that Vadra used laundered money to buy real estate in the United Kingdom. The agency alleged that the “money chain” was linked to him directly.
The investigating agency alleged that the property, worth £1.9 million (Rs 17.5 crore), was bought using profits from “criminal acts” and that the money was reportedly channelled through the United Arab Emirates.