ED seek non-bailable warrant against Robert Vadra's aide, court to hear on Jan 8
The Enforcement Directorate (ED) moved a Delhi court Saturday seeking issuance of an open-ended non-bailable warrant (NBW) against Manoj Arora, allegedly a close aide of Robert Vadra, in a money laundering case. The ED's special public prosecutor Nitesh Rana made the submission before special judge Arvind Kumar who put up the matter for hearing on January 8. The agency told the court that Arora failed to appear for questioning despite repeated summonses.
The ED further claimed that Arora is a key person in the case. He is aware of overseas undeclared assets of Vadra and was instrumental in arranging funds for such properties, the agency said. Vadra is the brother-in-law of Congress president Rahul Gandhi. An "open-ended NBW" does not carry a time limit for execution, unlike other non-bailable warrants.
The ED, in its application moved by advocate A R Aditya, claimed that proceeds of crime were used to channelise funds from the UAE to buy a property at 12, Bryanston Square, London, worth 1.9 million pounds and allegedly owned by Vadra. It said the probe was carried out under the Black Money Act.
"Vadra was beneficially controlling the property at 12, Bryanston Square, London, UK, which was valued at 1.9 million pounds, and not only executing renovation work of this property but also arranging funds for the same," the agency said in its application.
According to the agency, the property was bought by Sanjay Bhandari for GBP 1.9 million and sold in 2010 for the same amount despite incurring additional expenses of approximately GBP 65,900 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 alleged.
The ED said in its submission that Arora has been absconding since the search of his premises by the agency. "It is apprehended that the accused might have crossed the boundaries of the country. Hence, Red Notice through Interpol is required to be issued for which open-ended NBW is necessary," the agency argued.
(With inputs from agencies.)