Robert Vadra apologizes unconditionally to court for violating travel conditions
Businessman Robert Vadra, the husband of Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi, unconditionally apologized on Wednesday for violating travel restrictions imposed by a Delhi court after a fortnight-long trip to the UAE, UK, Spain, and Italy. The court had on Monday issued a show cause notice to Vadra regarding his stay in Dubai, asking why his fixed deposit submitted to the court shouldn't be forfeited.
Why does this story matter?
Vadra is facing charges in a money laundering case for the alleged illegal purchase of a London-based property worth 1.9 million pounds from alleged arms dealer Sanjay Bhandari. He is out on bail in the case which is being investigated by the Enforcement Directorate (ED). On August 12, the court granted him permission to travel abroad for four weeks based on his plea.
Court refuses to accept Vadra's explanation
Earlier, he had informed the court that he would travel to the UK "via" the UAE but later said he was compelled to stay there for a few days citing a medical exigency related to deep vein thrombosis (DVT). The court didn't accept the assertion saying that the itinerary submitted mentioned his stay in Dubai, which implied that the stay was intended all along.
"Via Dubai" instead of "to Dubai"
The ED appealed to the court to forfeit Vadra's fixed deposit for violating the terms of traveling abroad and asked for action against him. In an affidavit, Vadra said that he had inadvertently written "via Dubai" instead of "to Dubai." Vadra's counsel and senior advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi said that he made an error and apologized unconditionally.
Vadra had submitted details to the court
Vadra had sought permission to travel to the UK via the UAE. On August 22, he submitted the details of the places he was planning to visit, flight tickets, and hotel addresses, among other information. He left on August 25 and returned on September 8 within the stipulated time. Subsequently, he submitted an affidavit to the court mentioning his stay in Dubai.
ED didn't object before despite information: Singhvi
Special public prosecutor for the ED, Advocate NK Matta said that until now Vadra had not submitted the details of the places he visited in the UK. Singhvi argued that before Vadra set out to travel, the ED did not object to the modified itinerary submitted on August 22 which mentioned the stopover of four days in Dubai.