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Robert Vadra - Allegations of Corruption


In 2012, The India Against Corruption members Prashant Bhushan and Arvind Kejriwal accused Robert Vadra of large-scale corruption in real estate dealings. On 5 October 2012, IAC has alleged that real estate DLF Limited has sold him land in prime scale areas at throw away prices and has given him interest free loans. Property worth Rs. 300 crore was sold to Vadra for Rs. 50 lakh. They claimed that Robert Vadra has paid Rs. 5 crore to buy seven DLF flats worth Rs. 35 crore. The five firms that were used to buy the flats are allegedly owned by Robert Vadra and his mother.

The Congress Party has come in defence saying that they are just baseless allegations, while BJP wanted a full judicial inquiry into the issue.

Contents

Demands for Probe into Vadra's assets

Anti-corruption crusader Anna Hazare has joined the calls demanding a judicial probe into Vadra's assets. On 6 October 2012, Hazare alleged that the ruling Congress has party has many leaders who lie and change their stand. He said, "If the allegations are wrong then why is there no judicial probe. I would say let there be judicial probe and then facts will come out. If allegations leveled by Arvind are false, then order a probe and let the facts speak. If the allegations are false, file a case aganist Arvind Kejriwal."

Arvind Kejriwal said that he is ready to face defamation charges if his allegations of corruption charges against Robert Vadra are proven wrong.

BJP demands probe

The Bharatiya Janata Party on 6 October 2012 has demanded a fair probe into the corruption allegations against Robert Vadra. Party national spokesperson Ravishankar Prasad told reporters said, "It is the expectation of people of the country that the matter should be investigated. It should also be probed that what benefits Congress’s state governments in Rajasthan, Haryana and Delhi gave to Vadra,"

On 7 October 2012, BJP national spokesman Prakash Javedkar said that the party is insisting on a probe into the allegations against Robert Vadra. Javedkar said, "A company (DLF) which itself has a loan to the tune of Rs 22,000 crore and paying an interest of 15 per cent thereon, was extending interest-free loans worth Rs 65 crore to Vadra," He added that BJP had earlier given a notice in the Parliament on the issue, but was denied permission for discussion.

BJP continued their demand for a probe into the allegations against Robert Vadra saying that the Congress is getting more murkier by day. On 9 October 2012 BJP spokesperson Nirmala Sitaraman said, “The list of corruption scandals of the Congress is getting more complicated and murky. It has now hit the son-in-law of the family. He is a politically exposed person. This is a serious matter. The Congress should stop putting the onus of proof on anybody else and running away from investigations. We demand a comprehensive inquiry,” "Congress has the habit of running away from investigations... the Finance Minister himself has come out in defence of the person - even as he called him a private person - on these serious allegations. Allegations are serious enough to initiate action like the ED or other central government agencies,” she said.

DLF denies giving interest free loans

DLF Limited initially issued a statement on 5 October 2012 saying, "Our business relations with Robert Vadra are completely transparent. The relationship was conducted to the highest standard of ethics."

The DLF issued a press statement on 6 October 2012 defending its deal with Robert Vadra. The DLF categorically denied giving any unsecured loans to Vadra or any of his companies. It said that they have given Rs. 65 crore as business advances for purchase of land in two projects. But the same was refunded as DLF decided against the purchase. At no stage was a interest free loan ever given to the Skylight group, DLF said.

The independent directors of DLF have sought a probe into the allegations of controversial transactions between Robert Vadra and DLF. The shares of DLF slumped to 229.5 in the morning on 8 October 2012.


Vadra's response

Breaking his silence on the allegations, Robert Vadra said, "Thank you so much for your concern. I am fine and can handle all the negativity. I've lost people I loved, what can be worse?"

In a statement released on 7 October 2012, Vadra claimed that the IAC is trying to gain cheap publicity. "I am a private law-abiding citizen who has been engaged in business for 21 years. The allegations levelled against me are utterly false, baseless and defamatory," he said in a statement.

Vadra said that all his business transactions were reflected in the financial statements that he submitted to the appropriate government authorities. He further added that he is saddened by the attempt of Kejriwal and Bhushan to deliberately misrepresent numbers contained in my financial statements, manufacture lies against me and malign me and my family in order to gain cheap publicity for themselves and for the launch of their political party.

Quotes

"I am a private law abiding citizen who has been engaged in business over the last 21 years. The allegations levelled against me by Kejriwal and Bhushan are utterly false, entirely baseless and defamatory"

"...saddened by the attempt of Kejriwal and Bhushan to deliberately misrepresent numbers contained in my financial statements, manufacture lies against me and malign me and my family in order to gain cheap publicity for themselves and for the launch of their political party".

"My business transactions are fully reflected in financial statements filed before appropriate government authorities in compliance with the law. They are available in the public domain to anyone interested in knowing the truth."

Congress reaction

Chidambaram's response

Finance Minister P Chidambaram also came out in support of Robert Vadra saying that the Vadra-DLF deal saying it was struck between two private individuals. Speaking at a press conference in Mumbai on 6 October 2012, "These transactions ... have been disclosed in the appropriate income tax and other returns. And nobody has alleged any quid pro quo or any corrupt motive, beyond that I cannot say anything."

On 8 October 2012, Chidambaram said government cannot probe private deals unless there is a specific allegation of quid pro quo.

Congress rejects demand for probe

Congress spokesman rejected demands for a probe into the allegations of corruption. He said, "An inquiry into what? Is a business transaction between two private entities duly reported to the statutory authorities illegal? Is it a crime?"

Union Minister Sharad Pawar dared the IAC members to move court with any proofs of their allegations. He told reporters on 7 October 2012, "Of late, this is becoming a trend that anyone levels allegations, then keeps mum and later asks the government to conduct a judicial probe. But in such cases, anyone can approach court. Kejriwal can also go to court"

Corporation Bank denies giving overdraft

The Corporation Bank has denied giving an overdraft to Robert Vadra. The bank on 12 October 2012 said that there was no such transaction in their records so far and are seeking full facts on the issue. According to the annual report of Sky Light Hospitality for the 2007-08 financial year, the company has claimed an overdraft of Rs. 7.94 crore.

Timeline of Events

  • 5 October 2012: India Against Corruption member Arvind Kejriwal and Prashant Bhushan accuse a quid pro quo deal between Robert Vadra and DLF Limited. They allege that DLF Limited had sold property worth Rs. 300 crore for Rs. 50 lakh. DLF denied the allegations and said their transactions with Vadra are transparent.
  • 6 October 2012: Anti-Corruption crusader Anna Hazare joins demands for a judicial probe into Vadra's assets. He says that if IAC's allegations are wrong, Vadra can file a defamation case against them. BJP has also demanded a probe into the allegations.
  • 7 October 2012: BJP still insists on a probe into the allegations. Vadra refutes the allegations and claims IAC's allegations are baseless and for cheap publicity. Union Minister Sharad Pawar dares IAC to go to court if they have any proofs over the allegations.
  • 8 October 2012: Finance Minister P Chidambaram says government cannot probe the private deals with Robert Vadra and DLF unless there is a specific allegation of quid pro quo.
  • 9 October 2012: BJP spokesperson Nirmala Sitaraman says the allegations are serious and the investigation agencies have to initiate action.
  • 10 October 2012: Shares of DLF closed 5% down at Rs. 213
  • 12 October 2012: Corporation Bank denies giving overdraft to Vadra's company Sky Light Hospitality

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