June 2, 2016 4:33:17 am
THE property in London whose furnishings are said to be the subject of an April 2010 email between defence consultant Sanjay Bhandari and Robert Vadra, son-in-law of Congress president, and which is being investigated by the Income Tax Department was bought in June that year by a Sharjah-based company allegedly linked to Bhandari, sources have said.
Land Registry records accessed by The Indian Express show that the property, Flat 12, 12 Bryanston Square, London W1H 2DN, was sold to Mayfair Investment FZE, a company incorporated in the United Arab Emirates, on June 18, 2010, for GBP 1,900,000 (approximately Rs 19 crore).
According to these records, the company has a Sharjah address: PO Box 49304 Hamriyah Free Zone.
As reported by The Indian Express yesterday, the Income Tax Department has sent a query to Dubai via the Double Taxation Agreement (DTA) for details of Mayfair’s ownership. Similar queries have been sent to the British Virgin Islands and the United Kingdom regarding two more properties, one in Dubai and a second one in Grosvenor Hill Court in London.
Bhandari, according to sources in the IT Department, has admitted that the email trail recovered from his computer was that of messages exchanged between him, Vadra and Vadra’s assistant Manoj Arora.
Confronted with the batch of emails, including one dated April 4, 2010 — the only one sent from Vadra’s own email ID and signed off by him — he acknowledged the exchanges on the subject of finalising interiors for a London apartment.
Vadra’s lawyers have denied any association with Bhandari in a statement to NDTV which first reported on the Bhandari-Vadra link.
Meanwhile, the Enforcement Directorate (ED), after it received documents from Income Tax, today sent a notice to Bhandari asking him to furnish details of his bank accounts and properties.
A case under Official Secrets Act is also staring Bhandari in the face as IT officials said they have recovered several “confidential documents” belonging to the Ministry of Defence from Bhandari’s premises during a raid last month. These included minutes of the meeting of Defence acquisition committee. ED may file a case under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) once the Defence Ministry gives its opinion on the documents recovered. (With ENS)
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