New Delhi: A Delhi court on Saturday granted interim bail to Robert Vadra till February 16 in a money laundering case lodged by the Enforcement Directorate (ED), but asked him to join the probe as and when required.
The court has also asked Vadra to furnish a security of Rs 1 lakh and join the probe at 4pm on February 6. Vadra’s close aide Manoj Arora was earlier granted interim protection from arrest till February 6 by the court.
The case relates to allegations of money laundering in the purchase of a London-based property - located at 12, Bryanston Square - worth 1.9 million pounds, which is allegedly owned by Vadra, the brother-in-law of Congress president Rahul Gandhi.
Senior lawyer KTS Tulsi, who appeared for Vadra, called the case political vendetta. “It is happening because elections are coming,” he said.
“Till the day, they have no evidence that any money has gone out or come from outside it is a political vendetta. Robert Vadra is a law abiding citizen. Whatever they (ED) wants to ask, they can,” he added.
On January 19, the ED had told the court that Arora was cooperating in the probe. Arora had earlier alleged before the court that the case was foisted on him by the NDA government out of "political vendetta".
However, the ED had refuted the allegations, asking that "should no authority investigate any political bigwig because that will be called a political vendetta?"
The agency had told the court that it lodged the money laundering case against Arora after his role came up during the probe of another case by the Income Tax Department under the newly-enacted Black Money Act and tax law against absconding arms dealer Sanjay Bhandari.
It had alleged that the London-based property was bought by Bhandari for GBP 1.9 million and sold in 2010 for the same amount despite incurring additional expenses of approximately GBP 65,900 on its renovation.
"This gives credence to the fact that Bhandari was not the actual owner of the property but it was beneficially owned by Vadra who was incurring expenditure on the renovation of this property," the ED had told the court.
Arora, an employee of Vadra's Skylight Hospitality LLP, was a key person in the case and he was aware of the latter's overseas undeclared assets and was instrumental in arranging funds, ED had alleged.