New Delhi: Enforcement directorate (ED) officials on Friday searched premises linked to Robert Vadra in connection with a probe into a 2012 land deal, spelling further trouble for former Congress president Sonia Gandhi’s son-in-law.

The officials reached Vadra’s office in South Delhi’s Sukhdev Vihar area at 11am, according to people familiar with the development. Searches were also carried out in premises belonging to Vadra’s close aides in Bengaluru.

The ED cracked down on Vadra after issuing summons to him for the third time on Friday, asking him to appear before the agency, as Vadra had ignored the previous two.

In September 2015, the ED registered a criminal case under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, alleging that Skylight Hospitality owned by him had bought a piece of land in Kolayat, Rajasthan, at a throwaway price and sold it at an extremely high premium through illegal transactions.

Skylight Hospitality purchased 69.55 hectares of land for 72 lakh and sold it to Allegeny Finlease for 5.15 crore, making a profit of 4.43 crore, according to ED officials who requested anonymity.

While Vadra has termed the agency’s repeated summons a “witch hunt", the Congress has labelled it a tactic of the Narendra Modi-led Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government to divert attention from the ongoing Assembly elections.

“Sure shot defeat in 5 States unnerves Modi Govt to again use the old tools—unleash revenge & vendetta against Mr. Robert Vadra to divert the narrative. Such cowardice & intimidation will not subjugate either the Congress Party or the will of people," Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said on Twitter.

“The ED has forcefully raided the office premises. They entered without showing their ID cards and search warrants," Vadra’s lawyer Suman Jyoti Khaitan told reporters outside the Skylight Hospitality office in Sukhdev Vihar.

Close