The Enforcement Directorate has summoned Robert Vadra, brother-in-law of Congress president Rahul Gandhi, in connection with its money laundering probe in a land scam case in Rajasthan’s border city of Bikaner, officials said Friday.
They added that Vadra was asked to appear before the investigating officer (IO) of the case next week and this was the second summons issued to him for recording his statement under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act.
The officials said that as Vadra did not appear before the investigating officer when the first summons was issued earlier in November, the second summons was issued to him.
The central probe agency had registered a criminal case in connection with the deal in 2015, taking cognisance of a clutch of FIRs and chargesheets filed by the Rajasthan police after the local tehsildar of Bikaner complained about alleged forgery in the allotment of land in the area, considered sensitive due to its proximity to the Indo-Pak border.
The ED, it is understood, wants to grill Vadra about the operations of a firm — Ms Skylight Hospitality Private Limited — allegedly linked to him, which had purchased land in the area. It also wants to confront Vadra with the statements of those said to be linked to him.
The agency was also probing the role of a big steel firm that gave loans to a company that bought the land from firms linked to Vadra for a very inflated price, official sources said.
The agency, in the past, had also raided the premises of people linked to Vadra, like Mahesh Nagar and a few others.
In December last year, the ED had arrested Ashok Kumar, a close associate of Nagar, and another person, Jaiprakash Bagarwa.
Nagar is said to be associated with Ms Skylight Hospitality Private Limited, the firm with alleged links to Vadra.
The ED had searched the premises of both Kumar and Nagar in April last year.
Nagar was the “authorised representative” in four cases of land purchase in Bikaner.
Kumar, the agency alleged, had purchased land in the same area, using the “power of attorney” of others.
The ED probe in the case is related to the purchase of a land measuring 275 bigha allegedly by the company in Bikaner’s Kolayat area a few years ago.