Sanjay Bhandari, the defence consultant whose premises were searched by the Income Tax department in April, was stopped from boarding a London-bound flight at the Delhi airport last week.
Government sources said that with Bhandari, who is being investigated by the IT investigation wing as well as the Enforcement Directorate, frequently evading personal appearances to be questioned, and giving evasive answers when confronted with evidence gathered during the raids, a “look out” notice had been issued against him and entered into the immigration network. “We were apprehending that he may leave the country and issued the ‘look out notice’ as a precaution,” said a top official.
On June 29, Bhandari was refused permission to board a British Airways flight to London from the Delhi airport. He was informed that there was an alert issued in his name and the immigration authorities had been instructed that he required written authorisation from a designated court before travelling abroad.
Officials said that following his failed attempt to travel abroad, Bhandari has started to appear for questioning, but continues to be evasive.
Bhandari was recently in the news following reports that e-mails recovered from his computers revealed his links with Congress president Sonia Gandhi’s son-in-law Robert Vadra, with cryptic references to a London property.
The e-mail exchanges of April 2010 between Vadra and his assistant Manoj Arora with Bhandari and his relative Sumit Chaddha indicated that Vadra was closely monitoring the refurbishing of the property located in Bryanston Square in London.
While Bhandari admitted to these e-mail exchanges when confronted by IT sleuths during the search operations which began on April 27, Vadra’s lawyers later denied any “direct or indirect” link with the property.
The IT investigation wing has since sent as many as seven requests for assistance to the UAE, UK and Dubai on procuring financial and property details in connection with the case. It is yet to get their replies.
The ED is also examining a possible money laundering angle in Bhandari’s defence deals.
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