London property case: Robert Vadra reaches ED with wife Priyanka Gandhi for questioning, claims he is innocent

Robert Vadra

The ED case against Robert Vadra relates to allegations of money laundering in the purchase of a London-based property. (PTI file photo)

Robert Vadra, the brother-in-law of Rahul Gandhi, appeared before the Enforcement Directorate at its Delhi office in connection with his London properties case.

His wife Priyanka Gandhi once again accompanied Robert Vadra to the ED office. However, Priyanka left the ED office after dropping her husband off.

Before reaching the ED office, Robert Vadra tweeted, “I maintain my belief in the Indian judiciary. I have and will adhere to all summons/norms of government agencies. I have deposed 11 times with questioning of approx 70 hours. In future also, I will cooperate, till my name is cleared of all false allegations and accusations.”

The Enforcement Directorate had summoned Robert Vadra to appear before them on Thursday, the day the 2019 Lok Sabha results were announced. Sources have told India Today TV that Robert Vadra is being questioned in connection with his London properties and his association with arms dealer Sanjay Bhandari.

The ED case against Robert Vadra relates to allegations of money laundering in the purchase of a London-based property located at 12, Bryanston Square worth 1.9 million GBP (British pounds), which is allegedly owned by him.

According to ED, Sanjay Bhandari received kickbacks in a 2009 petroleum deal and a 2010 defence deal that was used to buy several properties in London worth 12 million pounds on behalf of Robert Vadra.

The probe agency has already filed an application before the Delhi High Court in which they have sought cancellation of anticipatory bail granted to Robert Vadra by the lower court.

The High Court will hear the matter on July 17 when Robert Vadra and his close associate Manoj Arora will also reply to the notice issued against them by the court. The ED maintains that they want custodial interrogation of Robert Vadra for which they want to arrest him.

Earlier, Robert Vadra had been questioned nine times by the ED in Delhi and twice in Jaipur.

Sources say that the Income Tax Department probe into the case has established links between Robert Vadra and Sanjay Bhandari. India Today TV has learnt that Sanjay Bhandari, who was questioned by the Income Tax Department on April 30, 2016, was asked by the interrogators about Robert Vadra’s France trip in 2012.

India Today TV is in possession of the income tax document, which is now part of the Enforcement Directorate’s (ED) investigation. Based on the document, investigators had asked Sanjay Bhandari if the 2012 flight tickets from France to Delhi were booked by him on behalf of Robert Vadra through a booking agency named International Travel Home, based in Delhi’s Paharganj.

Sanjay Bhandari was also asked who made the payment for the flight tickets dated between August 13, 2012, and August 19, 2012. He told the I-T Department officers, “Yes, I confirm it was booked on his [Robert Vadra] instruction but as far as I remember, it was purchased but I don’t remember how and who made the payments.”

Robert Vadra, according to sources, has denied any business association with Sanjay Bhandari. Sources say Robert Vadra was confronted with this documentary evidence over his alleged association with Sanjay Bhandari earlier this year. Sources within the agency have also told India Today that Robert Vadra denied most of the allegations against him while he was questioned earlier. Investigators say that most of Robert Vadra’s responses appeared to be ‘tutored’.