ED Raids Properties Allegedly Related To Robert Vadra's Land Deals

07/05/2016 1:27 PM IST | Updated 15/07/2016 8:26 AM IST
Hindustan Times via Getty Images
NEW DELHI, INDIA - AUGUST 20: Priyanka Vadra along with her daughter Miraya Vadra and husband Robert Vadra pay tribute to former Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi on his birth anniversary at his memorial on August 20, 2013 in New Delhi, India. Rajiv Gandhi, who heralded the information and communication technology revolution in the country, was born on August 20, 1944 and served as the sixth Prime Minister of India from 1984-1989. He was assassinated by the LTTE on May 21, 1991 at Sriperumbudur in Tamil Nadu while addressing an election campaign. (Photo by Ajay Aggarwal/Hindustan Times via Getty Images)

JAIPUR -- ED has conducted searches at multiple locations in Rajasthan in connection with its money laundering probe arising out of a case of land grab in Bikaner involving a company allegedly linked to Robert Vadra.

Officials said the searches were conducted on at least eight locations in the border town of Bikaner and adjoining areas on Thursday and the action has now ended.

The agency said the premises of 10 people, including some retired government officials, were brought under the action.

"The Enforcement Directorate conducted searches yesterday at eight premises in Bikaner and nearby areas, belonging to accused Jay Prakash Bagadwa, Ranjeet Singh, Kishore Singh, Gugan Gir and certain government officials including retired ones like Faqir Mohd, Uma Charan, Deeparam and Mahavir Swamy in the case of Kolayat land scam," an ED statement said.

ED teams examined documents allegedly related to Vadra's company, which purchased lands and also quizzed some people, ED spokesperson A K Rawal said today.

The probe is related to the purchase of 275 bigha land allegedly by the company of Vadra, son-in-law of Congress President Sonia Gandhi, in Kolayat area of Bikaner.

Officials said action was taken in order to gather "documents and hard data" from various officials and individuals involved in the case under Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).

The ED said property documents, bank accounts and Income Tax Returns (ITRs) were seized after the searches got over.

It is understood that the agency will soon issue summons to some firms and people involved in the case.

ED said "Bagadwa with the help of other accused persons allegedly forged the documents of colonisation department and got the government land allotted in the name of fictitious persons.

"The mutation in respect of said land was carried out in government revenue records in connivance with certain government officials.

"The plots of aforesaid land were further sold to various companies and individuals with help of forged letters of power of attorney in name of other accused persons. Acting on the inputs, the Directorate of Enforcement initiated its probe," the statement said.

It added "certain documents seized at premises of Bagadwa reveal the association of accused with the land scam".

The central agency registered a criminal case of money laundering in this case last year on the basis of 18 FIRs filed by the state police after the local tehsildar lodged a complaint.

ED has not mentioned the name of Vadra or any company linked to him in the FIR but it named some state government officials and some of the "land mafia".

While filing the case, it had also taken cognisance of reports that had referred to a firm allegedly linked to Vadra which had purchased some of these Bikaner located lands.

Vadra has denied any wrongdoing even as Congress party called the action "sheer political vendetta".

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