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India
19 Jan 2019

Delhi court extends interim protection from arrest to Vadra's aide

Interim-protection from arrest to Vadra's aide extended

A Delhi court today extended till February 6 the interim protection from arrest granted to Manoj Arora, a close aide of UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi's son-in-law Robert Vadra, in a money laundering case.

Special Public Prosecutor D P Singh, appearing for the Enforcement Directorate (ED) told Special Judge Arvind Kumar that Arora was cooperating in the probe.

Read the details here.

In context

Interim-protection from arrest to Vadra's aide extended

Seeking extension

Case related to allegation of money laundering of London-based property

ED's Special Public Prosecutor Nitesh Rana sought two more weeks for arguments on the application which was allowed by the court.

Rana said it remained to be seen if Arora would cooperate further.

The case relates to allegations of money-laundering in the purchase of a London-based property, located at 12, Bryanston Square, worth 1.9 million pounds, which is allegedly owned by Vadra.

Case foisted by NDA-government out of 'political vendetta', alleged Arora

In the last hearing, Arora had alleged before the court that the case was foisted on him by the NDA-government out of "political vendetta". However, ED refuted the allegations, asking, "should no authority investigate any political bigwig because that will be called a political vendetta?"

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Explanation

Arora's name came up during probe against Sanjay Bhandari: ED

The agency had told the court that it lodged the money laundering case against Arora after his role came up during the probe of another case by the Income Tax Department under the newly-enacted Black Money Act and tax law against absconding arms dealer Sanjay Bhandari.

It said the London-based property was bought by Bhandari for 1.9 million pounds (over Rs. 17 crores).

Selling property

Property sold by Bhandari was beneficially owned by Vadra: ED

The ED said Bhandari sold the property in 2010 for the same amount despite incurring additional expenses of approximately 65,900 pounds (over Rs. 60 lakhs) on its renovation.

"This gives credence to the fact that Bhandari was not the actual owner of the property but it was beneficially owned by Vadra who was incurring expenditure on the renovation of this property," it said.

Arora was aware of Vadra's undeclared assets overseas, says ED

Manoj Arora, an employee of Robert Vadra's Skylight Hospitality LLP, was a key person in the case and he was aware of the latter's overseas undeclared assets. He was also instrumental in arranging funds, the ED had told the court.

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