Bikaner land scam: ED attaches assets of Robert Vadra

Why did it take them four years and eight months?: Vadra

February 15, 2019 10:28 pm | Updated 10:28 pm IST - NEW DELHI

Under the lens:  Robert Vadra at a book release function in New Delhi last week.

Under the lens: Robert Vadra at a book release function in New Delhi last week.

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Friday provisionally attached assets worth ₹4.62 crore of Robert Vadra’s company Sky Light Hospitality (P) Limited and others in the Bikaner land scam case, according to the agency.

The properties include movable assets of four individuals, amounting to ₹18.59 lakh, and a building at Delhi’s Sukhdev Vihar, which is in the name of Mr. Vadra’s company. The attachments have been made under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA). Earlier this week, the agency had quizzed Mr. Vadra and his mother Maureen Vadra, as company directors, at its Jaipur office in connection with the case.

Refuting the charges, Mr. Vadra had earlier accused the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government at the Centre for its “vindictive action” by sending summons to his 75-year-old mother. “If there was any issue or any illegality which was found by the government, why did it take them four years and eight months to call me a month before campaigning begins for the general elections?” he said in as Facebook post.

The ED probe is based on 18 FIRs registered, and multiple charge-sheets filed by the Rajasthan Police against main accused Jai Prakash Bagrwa and 10 others.

ED sources said the investigations pertain to the alleged fraudulent allotment of land that was made available by the State government for relocation of people in 34 villages of Bikaner district, whose land had been acquired by the Centre to set up the Mahajan Field Firing Range.

“Fraudster Jai Prakash Bagrwa and others, in collusion with State government officials, got 1,422 bigha of government land illegally allotted to fictitious persons under the State government’s scheme meant for the displaced people. They illegally sold 1,372 bigha of land to various persons and companies. On detection of fraud, the impugned land was taken back by the State government,” said an agency official.

The land parcels were further sold for profits that, the ED alleges, are proceeds of alleged crime.

“Mr. Vadra’s company Sky Light Hospitality (P) Limited had purchased 69.55 hectares land for ₹72 lakh and sold the same for ₹5.15 crore to Allegeny Finlease (P) Limited and illegally generated profit of ₹4.43 crore. Four other individuals had also generated profit of ₹18.59 lakh in sale of impugned fraudulent land,” said the agency. The Directorate had earlier issued two attachment orders involving assets worth ₹1.82 crore and filed a prosecution complaint against nine accused persons.

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