Robert Vadra said can't recollect fund source, saw land on Google: ED

Robert Vadra, son-in-law of Congress President Sonia Gandhi, has allegedly told the Enforcement Directorate (ED) that he was unable to recollect the 'source of funds' used to purchase lands in two villages in Bikaner.

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Vadra denied knowing four individuals who were booked by ED in relation with the Bikaner land scandal.

New Delhi: Robert Vadra, son-in-law of Congress President Sonia Gandhi, has allegedly told the Enforcement Directorate (ED) that he was unable to recollect the 'source of funds' used to purchase lands in two villages in Bikaner, the subsequent sale of which resulted in windfall gains for his company, and that he had only seen the lands on 'Google map'.

Both the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and ED are probing the Bikaner land scam after the Rajasthan government handed over the case to CBI in August 2017. As per ED, Vadra was the “active director” of M/s Skylight Hospitality Pvt Ltd (holding 99% equity of the company and thus had the right to take all decisions for Skylight), when lands in two villages in Bikaner were allegedly fraudulently purchased by Vadra’s company for a few lakhs.

ED has alleged that the lands in Gajner and Goyalri (Bikaner) were purchased by Skylight Hospitality for Rs 72 lakh (in 2010) and sold for Rs 5.15 crore to Allegeny Finlease (P) Ltd (in 2012), generating an alleged illegal profit of Rs 4.43 crore. This money, ED alleges, was used by Vadra’s company to purchase a house in Sukhdev Vihar, New Delhi, which was attached by ED for being “direct proceeds of crime” of the Bikaner land scandal.


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In response to ED’s question over the source of funds for purchase of land by his company in Bikaner, Vadra said he “could not recall the source of funds”. Vadra said the funds might have been arranged from the company’s income and it was done through banking channels, said people in the know. Vadra told ED that he had only seen land on “Google map” as shown by Mahesh Nagar, an authorised representative of the company. When asked whether he personally visited Bikaner before the purchase and subsequent sale of the lands, Vadra replied in the negative. Vadra also said he had not gone through the land papers as the verification work was assigned to one Rajesh Khurana.

Vadra denied knowing four individuals who were booked by ED in relation with the Bikaner land scandal. When asked about the mode of payment, Vadra said he issued cheques on the instance of Mahesh Nagar and the documents were checked by Rajesh Khurana. Vadra said he did not know the land owner and payment was made at the behest of Mahesh Nagar.

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When Vadra was shown bank statements of Skylight Hospitality and the sale deed, Vadra said “it appears” that the amount received from M/s Allegeney Finlease Pvt Ltd was used in the purchase of property at 268, Sukhdev Vihar, New Delhi. Vadra has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing in the case. ED had also questioned Maureen Vadra, mother of Robert Vadra and the then director of Skylight Hospitality Pvt Ltd and now a partner in the company. Maureen told ED that she had only “one per cent of shareholding of Skylight Hospitality and was a sleeping director”. ETwas the first to report on Monday that ED has moved its appellate body seeking possession of Vadra’s house in Sukhdev Vihar.
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