Vadra granted two weeks to reply to ED’s Plea

New Delhi: A Delhi court on Wednesday granted two weeks of more time to businessman Robert Vadra for filing a reply on Enforcement Directorate’s (ED) plea seeking cancellation of his anticipatory bail granted by the trial court.

Vadra, who is facing money laundering charges, had sought more time to file reply on the plea as he is not in India.

His counsel, senior lawyer KTS Tulsi requested the court for more time, upon which the court granted two weeks of the additional period to file a reply.

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The matter has been posted for hearing on September, 26.
A single bench of Justice Chander Shekhar allowed the request and granted two weeks more time to the Vadra and his close aide Manoj Arora and posted the matter for hearing to September 26.
Advocate Amit Mahajan and Adv Manu Mishra appeared before the court on behalf of the investigating agency.

Earlier ED had approached Delhi HC stated that “The respondent (Vadra) is likely to tamper with evidence and influence witnesses in the case. The special judge (trial Court) has failed to appreciate that the respondent is a highly influential person. If he is granted blanket protection of bail, there is all likelihood that the respondent shall tamper with evidence.”

The agency had also pleaded in the high court for custodial interrogation of Vadra, the son-in-law of UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi, claiming that he was evasive during the probe.

The case relates to alleged money laundering in the purchase of a London-based property worth 1.9 million pounds.

The ED said that it wanted to question Vadra about the source of funds used for the purchase of the flat and ascertain the role of certain other people, who allegedly helped him launder money.
The agency alleged that one of the persons who helped Vadra launder money was Arora. It also claimed that Arora was aware of Vadra’s overseas undeclared assets and was instrumental in arranging funds for buying the flat.

The ED contended that the anticipatory bail to Vadra and Arora “interferes” in the investigation into the case.

“It is right to say that anticipatory bail, to some extent, intrudes in the sphere of investigation of crime and that the courts must be cautious and circumspect while exercising such power,” the plea said.

On April 1, Special CBI Court Judge Arvind Kumar had granted anticipatory bail to Vadra and Arora while directing them to furnish a personal bond of Rs 5 lakh each and surety of like amount.

Imposing bail conditions, the court had asked them not to leave the country without permission.

The court had also said that Vadra and Arora will have to join the probe when called upon by the agency and directed them not to tamper with evidence or influence witnesses.

On June 4, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) has approached the Delhi High Court for cancellation of interim bail of Robert Vadra citing contradiction in his statements and those of his associates.

Earlier on June 3, he was allowed to travel abroad on medical grounds for a period of six weeks. Vadra had submitted plea seeking to visit the United States and the Netherlands.

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