Robert Vadra, brother-in-law of Congress president Rahul Gandhi, Tuesday skipped his scheduled appearance before the Enforcement Directorate in a money laundering case probe, citing his bad health, officials said.
They said Vadra’s lawyers informed the investigating officer (IO) of the case their client is unwell and hence will be unable to join the probe related to allegations of money laundering to purchase assets abroad.
They said the businessman, also the son-in-law of Congress leader Sonia Gandhi, may appear either on Wednesday or on a mutually acceptable date later this week.
Vadra was questioned by the ED in this case for 23 hours over three days of deposition earlier this month.
He has been asked by a Delhi court to cooperate in the probe being conducted by the central probe agency.
The ED case against Vadra relates to allegations of money laundering in the purchase of a London-based property located at 12, Bryanston Square worth 1.9 million GBP (British pounds), which is allegedly owned by him.
The agency had told the court that it has received information about various new properties in London which belong to Vadra. These include two houses, one worth 5 million GBP and the other valued at 4 million GBP, six other flats and more properties.
Vadra has denied the allegations of possessing illegal foreign assets and termed them a political witch hunt against him. He said he was being “hounded and harassed” to subserve political ends.
Sources said Vadra’s statement was recorded under Section 50 (powers of authorities regarding summons, production of documents and to give evidence) of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), on the last three occasions.
His appearance before the ED earlier this month acquired political overtones after his wife Priyanka Gandhi, recently appointed Congress general secretary in-charge of eastern Uttar Pradesh, accompanied him to the investigating agency’s office on one day while she picked him up after questioning the next time.
Vadra had similarly deposed before the ED twice in Jaipur in an another money-laundering case related to an alleged land scam in Bikaner.