NEW DELHI: The finance ministry is reviewing an investigative report submitted by enforcement directorate and tax officials that says an arms dealer had fronted for Robert Vadra, the son-in-law of Congress president Sonia Gandhi, in 2009 when he bought a "benami" or proxy-owned mansion in London.
According to an NDTV report, purported arms dealer Sanjay Bhandari had fronted for Vadra in October 2009 and an inquiry by the finance ministry reportedly involves emails sent by Vadra and his assistant to Bhandari.
NDTV quoting official reports of investigation agencies said Vadra and his executive assistant sent several emails discussing payments and renovations for the London home (12 Ellerton House, Bryanston Square).
The apartment was brought for £19 lakh, approximately Rs. 19 crores, in October 2009 and it was sold in June 2010
According to the report, the government has begun a fresh probe into this matter.
However, Vadra's lawyers have denied the charges completely.
NDTV quoted his lawyers as saying, he (Vadra) “does not own, directly or indirectly, any house described by you as No 12, Ellerton House, Bryanston Square, London” and that Mr Vadra and his assistant “have not entered into any transaction of a financial nature with Mr Sanjay Bhandari and are not even aware that Mr Sanjay Bhandari is involved in any defence transaction.”
BJP MP Kirit Somaiya has demanded that investigating agencies look into the media report.
Somaiya had on Monday written a letter to the ED Director Karnal Singh and sought a detailed probe of the matter.
Congress leader Sndip Dikshit came to the rescue of Vadra and said that Kirit Somaya has a bit of making allegations.
"Making an allegation is very easy and if I am not mistaken, I think, Mr. Vadra's legal firm has also said that he has nothing to do with this. So, I think, the matter should rest at that. Kirit Somaiya is in a habit of making allegation on anybody, I don't think it merits anymore comments on that," Dikshit said.
The BJP leader, in his letter, quoted media reports as saying that there is a benami or proxy-owned property in London owned by Mr. Vadra. "The media report quotes a government report stating that alleged arms dealer Sanjay Bhandari is holding a house at 12 Ellerton House, Bryanston Square, London," said Somaiya in his letter.
The finance ministry is reportedly probing if Vadra is involved in purchase of the 'benami' mansion in London in 2009 or not.