New Delhi: The Delhi High Court sought Robert Vadra’s response Monday on the ED plea to cancel his anticipatory bail in a money laundering case on the ground that it required his custody as he was not cooperating in the investigation.
Justice Chander Shekhar issued notice to Vadra on the Enforcement Directorate’s (ED) petition challenging the trial court’s April 1 order which granted him anticipatory bail.
The High Court also sought response of Manoj Arora, an employee of Vadra’s ‘Skylight Hospitality LLP’ and a co-accused in the case, on the agency’s plea seeking cancellation of the anticipatory bail.
Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, representing the ED, said they required his custody as Vadra was not cooperating in the investigation and the trial court had not discussed the gravity of the offence in its order.
Vadra, brother-in-law of Congress president Rahul Gandhi, is facing allegations of money laundering in the purchase of a London-based property at 12, Bryanston Square worth 1.9 million pounds (over Rs 17 crore). The case is being probed under the provisions of Prevention of Money Laundering Act.
When the court asked if the ED wanted Vadra’s custody, Mehta said, “Yes, that is my case. We want his custody.” The High Court further sought to know the flaw in the trial court’s order.
The solicitor general said everything was shown to the special judge but it has not discussed the gravity of the offence in the trial court order. “It was categorically recorded but no finding was given in the order. See the modus operandi. We need his custody. At this stage, we have to show a prima facie case. It is not that anybody was picked up, we have material against him,” Mehta contended.
ED has contended that if Vadra is granted the blanket protection of bail, there is a likelihood that he may tamper with evidence and influence the witnesses in the case and that the trial court had failed to appreciate that he was a highly-influential person.