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ED Issues Notice to Robert Vadra's Company in Bikaner Land Deal

The ED has not mentioned the name of Vadra or any company linked to him in the FIR but it named some state government officials and some of the "land mafia".


Updated:June 22, 2016, 1:04 AM IST

New Delhi: The Enforcement Directorate on Tuesday issued notice to Congress chief Sonia Gandhi's son-in-law Robert Vadra's company in connection with its money laundering probe in a land deal in Rajasthan's Bikaner district.

The ED asked Ms Skylight Hospitality to produce before the Investigating Officer by June 24 certain documents related to the Bikaner land scam .

Official sources said the notice has been issued to the firm under the provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).

The ED had conducted extensive searches in this case in Rajasthan and other places in May and had claimed to have seized a number of documents.

Land in Bikaner

The probe is related to the purchase of 275 bigha land allegedly by the company in the Kolayat area of the border town of Bikaner.

The central probe agency had registered a criminal case of money laundering in this case in 2015 on the basis of FIRs filed by the state police after the local tehsildar had made a complaint.

The ED has not mentioned the name of Vadra or any company linked to him in the FIR but it named some state government officials and some of the "land mafia".

While filing the case, it had also taken cognisance of reports that referred to a firm allegedly linked to Vadra purchasing some of these lands in Bikaner.

Vadra has denied any wrongdoing even as Congress party called the action "sheer political vendetta". The agency had conducted similar searches in the case in Delhi in 2015.

Land Mafia?

Rajasthan government had in January 2015 cancelled the mutation (transfer of land) of 374.44 hectares of land, after the land department claimed to have found that the allotments were made in the names of "illegal private persons".

The tehsildar had said in the complaint that the government land in 34 villages of Bikaner, to be used for expanding the army's firing range in the area, was "grabbed" by the land mafia by preparing "forged and fabricated documents" in connivance with government officials.

ED suspects that huge amounts of money was laundered in this case by people buying land at cheap rates through forged documents.

The state government had, while cancelling the mutations, said these were not issued by the Commissioner, Colonisation, Bikaner. The state police had also filed chargesheets in the 18 cases in a court in Kolayat in 2015.

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