New Delhi: The finance ministry is reviewing an investigative report submitted by enforcement and tax officials that says an arms dealer had fronted for Robert Vadra in 2009 when he bought a mansion in London. Though Vadra’s lawyer has denied the charges, the inquiry report cites from mails sent by him and his executive assistant Manoj Arora as well as from the statements of defence dealer Sanjay Bhandari, according to a report. Vadra and his executive assistant had sent many mails to Sumit Chadda, a relative of Bhandari, referring to the funding for the renovation of the house, 12 Ellerton House, Bryanston Square, London, which was acquired in October 2009 for 19 lakh GBP. This house was sold in June 2010.
Vadra’s lawyers however told the news channel that their client ‘does not own directly or indirectly a house described by you as No 12, Ellerton House, Bryanston Square, London’. They added that neither Vadra nor his assistant had ‘entered into any transaction of a financial nature with Sanjay Bhandari and were not even aware that Bhandari was involved in any defence transaction.’ According to an investigative report Chadda, in an email sent to Vadra on 4 April 2010, had mentioned about the ongoing renovation work and had sought reimbursement of the expenses. Vadra had then replied to Chadda assuring him that he ‘will look into the issue’ and added that his secretary Manoj will be ‘in touch’ with Chadda regarding the same.
The report mentions that as promised by Vadra, his secretary Manoj did contact Chadda from an email id that went by the name of Exim Real Estate. Government officials on condition of anonymity said that the communication via email was regarding the renovation of the property including chandeliers. “It is shocking but not surprising,” said BJP parliamentarian Kirit Somaiya. “I would approach the Enforcement Directorate, Income Tax, and request them to check the property and any non-transparency in the transaction,” he added.PTI
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