Rajasthan High Court has directed officials of Skylight Hospitality, a firm linked to Congress Chief Sonia Gandhi’s son-in-law Robert Vadra, to appear before Enforcement Directorate (ED) for questioning in connection with a controversial land deal in Bikaner.
Justice P K Lohra gave the order while hearing the pleas challenging the summons issued by the ED to the company and its officials earlier this year under the provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) in connection with purchase of 275 bigha land in Kolayat area of Bikaner in Rajasthan.
Refusing to grant relief to the petitioners, the court said they will have to appear before ED between January 4 and January 6 but allowed them assistance of lawyers “with reasonable distance” during questioning.
As the issue of Vadra’s controversial land deals haunted the Congress again, the party alleged that summoning of Skylight and its officials by ED was part of “vendetta and witch-hunt that BJP continues to unleash guided by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi”.
Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said neither “Vadra nor Skylight, nor anyone associated with him is an accused in the case” and that ED has not been able to find anything against them.
“Whenever there is been an attack on BJP over their misdoings, they just say ‘this has happened’, and ‘that had happened’. They are enquiring about it for so many years why are they not able to find anything?,” senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad said.
Vadra has denied any wrongdoing in the matter.
However, Minister of State for Finance Arjun Ram Meghwal, who hails from Rajasthan, said, the law will take its course.
“I just want to say if a common man would have liked to buy those lands, I am sure they wouldn’t be allowed to do so,” the minister said.
ED’s counsel Rajeev Awasthi opposed the pleas against the summonses in the high court saying the petitioners are supposed to appear before the agency instead of challenging the same in the court.
The court listed the petitions for final disposal on January 23.