Monday, December 5, 2022

Delhi court accepts Vadra’s apology, orders ED to return Rs 25 lakh FDR

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A Delhi court on Saturday accepted the apology tendered by businessman Robert Vadra regarding violation of constraints imposed on him over travel to the United Kingdom, Italy and Spain.

The Rouse Avenue Court further ordered returning to Vadra, fixed deposit receipt of Rs 25 lakh, which was forfeited by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) for violating the terms of the court.  

While allowing the son-in-law of Congress President Sonia Gandhi to travel to the UK, Italy and Spain on August 12, the Rouse Avenue Court had made a condition that Vadra could take a connecting flight from Dubai to London, along with depositing an FD of Rs 25 lakh. 

ED had vehemently opposed the travel permission, stating that in case Vadra reached Dubai, he could tamper with the evidence. 

Despite this condition of the court, Vadra stayed in Dubai for four days citing illness. ED had filed a petition in the Rouse Avenue Court, seeking to confiscate his FD and take legal action against him.

Vadra, husband of Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi, had issued an unconditional apology on September 21, for violating the travel restrictions.

The Rouse Avenue Court had reserved its verdict on Wednesday over the Enforcement Directorate’s plea to forfeit the fixed deposit and commence legal proceedings against Vadra for breaking the court’s condition of travelling overseas until Thursday.

The national agency had demanded action against Vadra, stating that in an affidavit, he stated that he mistakenly put ‘via Dubai’ instead of ‘to Dubai’ in the application for authorisation to travel. Vadra is currently on bail in connection with a money laundering case. 

Representing Vadra, Senior Advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi said he was apologetic about his mistake and did not have any intention to mislead anyone.

Advocate N K Matta, special public prosecutor (SPP) for the ED, contended that Vadra was asked to give his address to the court before leaving India, which he didn’t do. He also did not submit details of the places he visited in the UK after returning to India.

The Court had expressed its dissatisfaction on September 19 over Vadra’s clarification that he stayed in Dubai for a medical emergency in August this year while travelling to the United Kingdom via UAE, claiming that this was a violation of the conditions of permission granted to him.

He was also issued a showcause notice for the same.

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