A Delhi court on Saturday discharged a show-cause notice issued to Robert Vadra for allegedly violating terms and conditions while traveling to the UK via Dubai. The court said it was satisfied with the businessman’s explanation that he stayed in Dubai for a medical emergency while traveling to the UK via UAE in August this year, but warned him to remain careful in the future. The court then took on record Vadra’s compliance report, stating that he had shown sufficient cause and satisfactory explanation for the four-day stopover in UAE.
Vadra, the husband of Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi, is currently on bail in connection with a money laundering case filed by the Enforcement Directorate (ED). On September 20, the court expressed its displeasure with Vadra’s explanation and said this was a violation of the terms and conditions of the permission granted to him, and issued a show-cause notice asking him why his fixed deposit (FD) was submitted to the court should not be forfeited.
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On Saturday, Special Judge Neelofer Abida Perveen observed: “From the contents of the affidavit, I am satisfied that the omission is not intentional, the explanation is not an afterthought, and conduct of the applicant does not lack in bona fides and good faith.” The court further observed: “The applicant has tendered an unqualified and unconditional apology for the lapse which is accepted in the circumstances as noted above. However, the applicant is warned to remain careful in the future. The show cause notice stands accordingly discharged.”
The ED, represented by Special Public Prosecutor NK Matta, had alleged that “the violation is deliberate and intentional and that the applicant has tried to circumvent the order of the Court”. Vadra’s lawyers had submitted that a mistake had occurred since an amended application seeking permission to stay over in Dubai for four days, during the trip to the UK, had not been filed.
The lawyers submitted that they “deeply regretted that out of inadvertence the same was not filed, however, the conduct of the applicant throughout has been nothing less than bonafide.” Vadra’s lawyers had argued that the court had in the past granted Vadra permission to travel to Dubai on three separate occasions.
“That there had been no objection to the applicant’s travel to Dubai or stopover at Dubai on such previous occasions. That this buffer of a brief stay in Dubai was necessitated in the wake of the sudden medical emergency and that the itinerary and travel tickets were duly filed disclosing the break in journey,” his lawyers argued. Earlier, on Wednesday, Vadra tendered his unconditional apology for the alleged violation of the terms and conditions of traveling to the UK, Italy, and Spain.
The ED, however, said that action should be initiated against Vadra. In an affidavit, Vadra said that he made an inadvertent error and instead of “to Dubai”, wrote “via Dubai” in his application seeking permission to travel.