Robert Vadra is in trouble again. Tax authorities have unearthed four emails, connecting Vadra and his assistant Manoj Arora’s links with a controversial arms dealer Sanjay Bhandari and discussing about a “benami” property in London. The emails were unearthed during a raid.
At television channels began discussing the news, Vadra’s main lawyer Suman Khaitan denied that his client had any business relations with Bhandari or his involvement in any defence contract.
Reports said that the emails discussed some deals with a London-based relative of Bhandari, by the name of Sumit Chaddha. There was talk of payments and renovations of a London home (12 Ellerton House, Bryanston Square) bought by some person for £19 lakh (Rs 19 crore) in October 2009 and sold in June 2010.
Chaddha discussed the progress of repair and renovation work of the building with Vadra and sought reimbursement of expenses. The preliminary report, which is drafted ahead of I-T proceedings, shows Vadra replying to Chaddha, saying he “would look into the issue” and his “secretary” Manoj will be “in touch”.
Bhandari is the owner of Offset India Solutions (OIS) and came under surveillance of IT officials after his firm’s paid-up capital jumped to several crores in a a very short time. from a measly Rs.1. lakh in 2008. Bhandari was jailed in 2000 for tax evasion in a case involving the import of foreign cars, It is pertinent to note that it is the same company OIS Advanced Technology that had clinched an agreement with French defence major Rafale to supply parts for the 38 combat aircraft that India is buying from Dassault Aviation.
Bhandari also found money to set up another joint venture with LH Aviation to make a new class of high-endurance Medium-Altitude, Long Endurance Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) in India. Bhandari tried to destroy his BlackBerry phone during the IT raids. He is also under investigation for his linkage to 35 suspected shell companies between 2009 and 2014. The Supreme Court let him go free in an alleged customs duty evasion case in 2008, after the Department of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) seized foreign luxury cars from Bollywood star Suniel Shetty and Chandan Basu, son of former West Bengal Chief Minister Jyoti Basu. Investigations are ongoing into the new Vadra-related information. – CINEWS