Robert Vadra and his mother Maureen were questioned by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in Jaipur for several hours Tuesday in connection with a case of alleged land scam in Bikaner.
Vadra’s wife and Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, who had arrived in Jaipur on Monday, was also present to show solidarity with her husband.
The three reached the ED office a little before 10:30 am. Congress workers had installed hoardings around the ED office and upon the trio’s arrival, indulged in sloganeering against Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the BJP. Priyanka left the ED office soon after dropping the two.
Maureen Vadra left the ED office around two hours after her arrival, but Robert Vadra’s questioning continued till around 8.30 pm, barring an hour-long break in the afternoon. As per officials, the ED had over 50 questions it wanted to ask Vadra.
Vadra’s lawyer S J Khaitan said that Maureen Vadra’s investigation has concluded but Robert Vadra’s questioning will continue on Wednesday.
The case pertains to alleged fraudulent and fictitious claims and allotments of land in Bikaner’s Kolayat. The land was meant for the people who were displaced due to the creation of the Army’s Mahajan Firing Range, but was allegedly fraudulently acquired by various entities, including Vadra’s firm. In January 2012, Robert Vadra’s Sky Light Hospitality Private Limited sold 69.55 hectares in Bikaner in two deals to Delhi-based Allegeny Finlease Pvt Ltd for Rs 5.15 crore — at Rs 7.41 lakh per hectare, which was seven times the purchase price of the same land two years ago.
Vadra’s Tuesday appearance follows a petition by Sky Light Hospitality. Last month, the Rajasthan High Court had stayed the arrest of the petitioners during the interrogation. However, as Additional Solicitor General Rajdeepak Rastogi stated that the collection of evidence was being stalled “due to non-cooperation of the partners of the petitioner” under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002, the bench of Justice Pushpendra Singh Bhati directed the partners of the petitioner to appear before the agencies at 10:30 am on February 12.
As per officials, the “partners” in the firm are Robert Vadra and his mother Maureen Vadra.
The matter is next listed in the High Court for February 18.