NEW DELHI: Robert Vadra, the brother-in-law of Congress president Rahul Gandhi, Friday skipped his scheduled appearance before the Enforcement Directorate in connection with a money laundering case linked to purchase of alleged illegal assets abroad, officials said.
They said Vadra has cited bad health as the reason for missing the date. The agency has now asked him to appear next week on June 4 to answer questions emerging from some fresh evidence brought out in the case, they said.
Vadra was grilled for about five hours Thursday when the investigating officer of the case recorded his statement under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act.
The businessman made public comments on social media on Thursday saying it was the 11th time he appeared before probe agencies and has been subjected to 70 hours of questioning so far.
"I maintain my belief in the Indian judiciary. I have and will adhere to all summons/norms of government agencies. I have deposed 11 times with questioning of approximately 70 hours. In future also, I will cooperate, till my name is cleared of all false allegations and accusations," Vadra said.
Vadra has appeared before the ED multiple times in connection with this case and also in another criminal money laundering cases related to alleged irregularities of land allotment in Rajasthan's Bikaner.
The agency recently sought cancellation of the anticipatory bail given to him and also opposed his plea for foreign travel. A court Wednesday reserved for June 3 its order to allow Vadra to travel abroad or not.
The ED had told the Delhi High Court that it required Vadra's custody as he was not cooperating in the investigation and the trial court had not discussed the gravity of the offence in its order that gave relief to the high-profile businessman.
The ED case against Vadra relates to allegations of money laundering in the purchase of a London-based property at 12, Bryanston Square worth 1.
9 million GBP (British pounds), which is allegedly owned by him. The agency had told a Delhi court that it has received information about various new properties in London which belong to Vadra.
These include two houses, one worth five million GBP and the other valued at four million GBP, six other flats and more properties.
Vadra has denied the allegations of possessing illegal foreign assets and termed them a political witch-hunt against him. He said he was being "hounded and harassed" to subserve political ends.