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How Probe Against Robert Vadra Keeps The Pressure On Congress

But investigators have been unsuccessful in nabbing Priyanka Gandhi’s husband who is suspected to have ‘benami’ properties

How Probe Against Robert Vadra Keeps The Pressure On Congress
Power Couple | Photograph by PTI
How Probe Against Robert Vadra Keeps The Pressure On Congress
outlookindia.com
2020-07-11T00:11:35+05:30

On June 30, the day before Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra received an eviction notice for her Lutyens’ Delhi bungalow from the ministry of housing and urban development, the CBI filed an FIR that they believe will take them closer to nail her spouse Robert Vadra—something various investigating agencies have been trying to do through an intricate tangle of cases and associates. From land deals in Haryana and Rajasthan to high-end ‘benami’ properties in London and kickbacks in a Rs 6,800-crore petroleum deal signed in 2009 when the Congress-led UPA was in power, the investigations are complex and also involve Vadra’s suspected aides—fugitive arms dealer Sanjay Bhandari and Dubai-based Kerala businessman C.C. Thampi.

Sources in the investigating agencies say the attempt is to hem in Vadra one way or the other. Even as the agencies try to build a case against him, they admit it is difficult to connect all the dots. “We examined all the existing evidence and found nothing conclusive,” concedes an official involved in the probe. “We seized 23,000 documents, all computers and hard discs from his office, yet found nothing of consequence. There are layers upon layers. It is becoming difficult to track the paper trail as it goes through circuitous routes and a network of companies.”

Even Vadra’s extensive and much publicised questioning by the enforcement directorate in the run-up to the 2019 Lok Sabha elections did not yield the result desired by the agency. He consistently denied any wrongdoing. The ED arr­ested Thampi in connection with Vadra’s alleged foreign assets and rel­eased on bail. The latest FIR accuses Bhandari and officials of ONGC and Samsung Engineering Company Limited (SECL) of corruption and criminal conspiracy related to the...

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