The Delhi High Court Monday refused to stay proceedings against Robert Vadra in connection with the alleged money laundering case after the Enforcement Directorate (ED) opposed his plea to quash the case, saying that it was “not maintainable” as he “wilfully suppressed” material facts from the court.
The ED contended before a bench of Justices Hima Kohli and Vinod Goel that Vadra’s plea was an “abuse of process of law”.
The High Court then directed the ED to file before May 2 their response to the pleas by Vadra and his close aide Manoj Arora, who have sought that various provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002, be declared unconstitutional. Fearing pre-arrest in the case regarding “ownership of undisclosed assets abroad”, Vadra had moved the trial court on February 1, seeking protection from arrest.
On February 2, the trial court granted Vadra protection from arrest, and this was extended over time. However, it had directed him to appear before the agency and join the probe. On Monday, the trial court’s special judge extended the protection from arrest till March 27.
PTI adds: Appearing for Vadra in the Delhi court, senior advocates Abhishek Manu Singhvi and KTS Tulsi said that every question and answer of the interrogation has been leaked to the media with some ulterior motive. This showed that the ED’s probe was meant to “embarrass” and “humiliate” Vadra on account of a “political vendetta” and the agency was guided by the “lust for custody”, they said.
ED’s counsel D P Singh countered the submission vehemently saying, “They talked about agency’s ‘lust for custody’. It is their ‘lust for money’ which has led to our ‘lust for custody’”.