Sheikh Pervez Hameed

A passionate India loving Indian, delighting in its glory yet not blind to its follies, shortcomings and dark side.

Media about Robert Vadra Corruption

Robert Vadra corruption, as alleged by Arvind Kejriwal is the talk of the town. Well-connected inpiduals in the Delhi NCR region had been talking about the influence that Robert Vadra wields in the real estate market it in hushed voices and subdued tones for many years.

The Economic Times was the first major media publication to report about Robert Vadra's wealth in 2011. BJP, the principal opposition party deliberately chose not to rake up this issue after this news story was published. It is said that they too have similar skeletons in their closet and agitating on the Robert Vadra quick financial growth would have hurt them as well.

The issue is hot and I am sure that much more information is going to come out over an extended period of time. In this post, I keep a track of the various important media reports that reveal unique details, so as my website visitors can have an easy reference source. If you have anything to share on this particular issue, please send to me the contribution.

My View:

10:11 08-10-2012.

There is much to explain by Robert Vadra and he should do it in person. Not hide behind Congress party or DLF. He should rebut each allegation point by point instead of questioning the locus standi of the allegation makers.

Allegations

 

The average price paid by Vadra for these purchases works out to Rs 2.6 lakh an acre, even as his firm paid up stamp duty on the official collector rate of Rs 16 lakh an acre. Collector rates are considered the base price for sale of land for revenue purposes and are usually far below the market price of the land.

....More at Robert Vadra: Congress remains adamant, says won't probe land deals - Politics - Politics News - ibnlive

 

Kejriwal added that Punjab and Haryana High Court had passed strictures against the Haryana government, terming its action "mala fide" and showing a "nexus". Following Kejriwal's allegations, the Haryana government had denied that it had granted favours to DLF. The Haryana government said Tuesday that the 30-acre land was owned by East India Hotels (EIH) and was transferred by it to DLF in 2005. It said the high court had quashed the land sale in February 2011 and the matter was pending in the Supreme Court.

....More at Welcome To IANS Live - TopStory - Vadra-DLF deals: Kejriwal attacks Haryana govt

 

The opposition BJP has snatched the controversy over Mr Vadra's transactions with DLF to demand an independent inquiry. Today, BJP leader Shanta Kumar wrote to Arvind Kejriwal congratulating him for his "expose". Mr Kumar also said that a separate inquiry should determine how and why rules were relaxed to allow Priyanka Gandhi to buy nearly an acre of land near Shimla in Himachal Pradesh, a state which does not allow non-residents to own property within its borders - she was granted the land in two tranches, reportedly; first by the Congress government in 2007 and then by the BJP's PK Dhumal, currently the state's chief minister.

....More at BJP wants inquiry into Gandhis' property in Himachal Pradesh | NDTV.com

 

"He is hiding behind DLF and the Congress . He should come in the open and clarify charges against him," Kejriwal told reporters here.

....More at Robert Vadra hiding behind DLF, Congress: Arvind Kejriwal

 

Reacting to Vadra's remarks that he and Prashant Bhushan were maligning him and his family to "gain cheap publicity", Kejriwal said, "Robert Vadra has questioned our motives that is not important. He has not replied to the questions that we have raised."

....More at Robert Vadra has not replied to questions we have raised: Arvind Kejriwal - The Times of India

 

They accused Vadra of increasing his wealth from Rs. 50 lakh to Rs. 300 crore in three years by related stories Modi may target Vadra in his poll campaign Anna asks Congress to probe Vadra; FM calls it private deal Kejriwal says ready for defamation case if charges against Vadra false As politics heats up, Robert Vadra says can handle negativity Modi may raise Vadra issue in campaign receiving an "unsecured, interest-free loan of Rs. 65 crore" from real estate giant DLF to buy properties at very cheap prices from the same company.

....More at Arvind Kejriwal guns for Robert Vadra, Congress rebuts - Hindustan Times

 

Media Coverage

The curious dealings of Robert Vadra have become even more curious, with a bank mentioned in the balance sheet of one of his companies denying it ever undertook a transaction clearly stated in the firm’s auditor’s report.

....More at Who to believe: Vadra's bank or balance sheet?

Robert Vadra today dismissed as "utterly false, entirely baseless and defamatory" allegations over his property dealings with DLF and said he was saddened by attempt of activists Arvind Kejriwal and Prashant Bhushan to malign him and his family to "gain cheap publicity".

....More at Allegations 'utterly false', 'defamatory': Robert Vadra - Economic Times

 

The owners of DLF have strong ties with the Gandhi family that go as far back as 30 years, when Robert Vadra was nowhere in picture. In fact, DLF owner K P Singh gives Rajiv Gandhi all the credit for reviving DLF and enabling him to create Gurgaon as an international city. All this finds ample acknowledgement in his autobiography Whatever the Odds: The Incredible Story Behind DLF.

....More at Gandhi-DLF link: It all started with Rajiv, not Robert Vadra | Firstpost

The Allahabad high court's Lucknow bench on Thursday granted three weeks to the Central government in New Delhi for filing objections to the petition that has sought the court's directive to order an investigation into the allegations of corruption leveled against Sonia Gandhi's son-in-law, Robert Vadra and real estate giant DLF.

....More at Robert Vadra's wealth row: PIL filed in Allahabad HC - The Times of India

A city lawyer has filed a case against Robert Vadra for his remarks 'mango people in banana republic' on his Facebook update, seeking punishment for 'defamatory remarks against the people and the country'. The court will hear the matter on October 18.

....More at Case against Robert for 'mango' slur - The Times of India

Robert Vadra is an impetuous man. In February 2005, when his father, the late Rajendra Vadra (whom Vadra had very publicly disowned), destitute and alone, suffered a heart attack in a decrepit 'barsati' in south Delhi's Amar Colony, Vadra let loose his temper at the journalist who attempted to highlight the incident. "What's your business (in this), stupid," he thundered.

....More at Robert Vadra: Sonia Gandhi's Achilles heel - Rediff.com News

Among the revelations made by anti-corruption activist Arvind Kejriwal against Robert Vadra is that Sonia Gandhi's son-in-law bought large tracts of land in Bikaner between 2007 and 2010. When Mail Today investigated to check if Kejriwal's claims were correct, it found that he could indeed be speaking the truth.

....More at More revelations: Robert Vadra is owner of large tracts of land in Bikaner : India, News - India Today

 

In a press release issued by DLFBSE 2.37 % on Saturday, the company had said it bought a 3.5-acre plot at village Sikohpur, Gurgaon district at FSI (floor sale index) cost of Rs 2,800 per sq ft. It also claimed that the price of this property has significantly appreciated, benefitting both the company and its shareholders. But analysts, property brokers and landowners say land in that area in 2008-09 did not cost more than Rs 1,500 per sq ft. They say that the current price of commercial FSI in the area is Rs 2,500 per sq ft, while land touching the highway costs Rs 3,000 per sq ft.

....More at DLF paid extra for Robert Vadra's land; company refutes claims: Analysts - The Economic Times

 

According to Kerala Kaumudi, a prominent Malayalam newspaper that first broke the story, the buzz in and around Kochi is that most of the land being bought in the area, under different names that mainly belong to north India, are on behalf of Vadra. "Although there is no proof as yet, everyone in the real estate business in Kochi has been, for some time now, talking about Vadra. The mere name evokes fear among land registration officials around the city, who refuse to utter a word when Vadra's name is mentioned," says journalist Sunesh Kumar, who investigated the story. The paper has also revealed another Kerala connection for the Vadras. Kochi resident Sreenivasan Krishnan has replaced Priyanka Gandhi as the director of Blue Breeze Trading, a chartered-flight service provider which is under scrutiny for alleged corporate favours, as claimed by Arvind Kejriwal.

....More at Now, Robert Vadra's Kerala land deals come under the scanner : South, News - India Today

 

Each time Robert Vadra steps into the spotlight, the average mango folks can’t help but wonder, “Really? She married him?”  Of all the men at all the Delhi A-list parties, Priyanka Gandhi picked this guy?

....More at The Robert Vadra mystery: Forget property, how did he acquire Priyanka? | Firstpost

 

But there are still many more big questions:

- DLF says Robert Vadra's company Sky Light Hospitality Pvt Ltd sold its land at Manesar for Rs 58 crore to DLF and rs 50 cr was paid as advance. This land was acquired a year ago at Rs 15.38 crore by Sky Light. How did a cost escalation of almost 400 per cent take place in the span of a year?

- And despite a payment of Rs 50 crore in advance for the land, why do Vadra's balance sheets in March 2011 show both cash and land still in his company's name? Also, what happened to this money for 2 years?

- In another deal, DLF says Vadra paid Rs 11.9 crore for an apartment in Aralia. But why does his balance sheet show Rs 89.41 lakh as the purchase price, which a year later is valued at over Rs 11 crore?

- If Vadra became a 50 per cent shareholder of DLF SEZ in October 2008, how did he exit the business a year later without any loss or gain - considering that the real estate sector was witnessing a downturn.

- What was Robert Vadra's influence in the market that made DLF invest so heavily in all his companies, also giving crores as advance?

- In a falling market, why will DLF buy back Vadra's stake in the SEZ at the same price after one year?

- Why did Kejriwal use a stayed HC judgement as evidence in the DLF SEZ land deal?

....More at Robert Vadra: DLF- Haryana govt links alleged by Kejriwal sub-judice in SC - Politics - Politics News - ibnlive

 

On Friday, anti-graft activist Arvind Kejriwal and his associates accused Robert Vadra, son-in-law of Congress chief Sonia Gandhi of corruption. That snow-balled into a political controversy ahead of key state assembly elections in Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh. Kejriwal has alleged that Vadra, husband of Gandhi’s daughter Priyanka, has purchased at least 31 properties mostly in New Delhi worth more than Rs.300 crore for which money has come from “unsecured interest-free loans from DLF Ltd”.

....More at DLF-Robert Vadra controversy: A news round-up - Livemint

 

But the alibi that DLF trots out on behalf of itself and Vadra to defend their land dealings rings untrue. It hardly seems “standard business practice” for DLF to pay up to nearly 90 percent of the property transaction value to Vadra’s company as an “advance” – and for that amount to remain listed on Vadra’s company’s balance sheet for two years and more as an “advance”. Indicatively, even as of 31 March 2010, Sky Light Hospitality lists a Rs 50 crore payment from DLF as an advance on sale of Manesar land, and an additional Rs 10 crore from DLF as “advance… (Land A/c)”. Despite the nature of this classication, in spirit, there is nothing to distinguish these payments from an interest-free loan to Vadra’s companies

....More at Money for nothing: DLF-Vadra ‘alibi’ on land deals is hogwash | Firstpost

 

Which is why Sonia Gandhi‘s son-in-law Robert Vadra speaks with authority when he speaks of India as a “banana republic”. More than any of us, he ought to know: he lives in that “banana republic” world, and makes it work to his advantage – and, as has been established, to enhance his business fortune. Robert Vadra knows the ‘banana republic’ from the inside. Reuters It is only in a ‘banana republic’ that a man who starts off with Rs 50 lakh capital (and an undistinguished record of running a middling family business) can, in just three short years, build a Rs 300 crore business empire – without any semblance of business activity, as declared in his companies’ filings

....More at Of course, Robert Vadra is right! We are a ‘banana republic’ | Firstpost

 

Rapidly, armed with loans amounting to Rs 8 crore, principally from DLF Ltd (Rs 5 crore), his own company Sky Light Hospitality (Rs 2 crore), another company owned by him Blue Breeze Trading (Rs 89.5 lakh) and another of his companies Artex (Rs 15 lakh), he began acquiring properties across north India principally in Haryana and Rajasthan. While DLF has clarified that the Rs 50 crore transaction was for purchase a plot of land 3.5 acres just off NH-8 in Sikohpur village, Gurgaon district, from Vadra, the other property acquisitions across firms has not been explained yet. Hilton Garden Inn Hotel Saket, New Delhi Sky Light Hospitality books reflect the Rs 50 crore advance. On Monday, Robert Vadra described Kejriwal & Co. as 'mango people in banana republic' on Facebook.

....More at Robert Vadra's complex maze: Records show that his companies have masses of land banks across three states | Mail Online

 

After reports that Congress President Sonia Gandhi's son-in-law Robert Vadra posted a new Facebook status that read, 'Mango people in banana republic', India Against Corruption (IAC) asked him to apologise. IAC member Arvind Kejriwal's associate Kumar Vishwas demanded that Vadra apologise for insulting India by calling it a banana republic.

....More at Robert Vadra: IAC asks for apology for 'banana republic' FB post - Politics - Politics News - ibnlive

 

"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," BJP national spokesman Prakash Javadekar told reporters here while demanding a probe into the matter.

....More at Robert Vadra should put forward 'concrete clarification': BJP - The Economic Times

 

Senior lawyer Ram Jethmalani, who supports the anti-corruption movement of Arvind Kejriwal and Prashant Bhushan, said it might not be possible to invoke PCA against Vadra for now, but once more evidence came to light things might change.

....More at Robert Vadra not a public servant, can't be booked under Prevention of Corruption Act: Experts - The Economic Times

 

There are no other employee costs in the books, either to his mother or to others. However, in the documents, both directors “place on record their deep sense of appreciation for the committed services of executives, staff and workers of the company.”

....More at The Hindu : News / National : Behind Robert Vadra’s fortune, a maze of questions

But the alibi that DLF trots out on behalf of itself and Vadra to defend their land dealings rings untrue. It hardly seems “standard business practice” for DLF to pay up to nearly 90 percent of the property transaction value to Vadra’s company as an “advance” – and for that amount to remain listed on Vadra’s company’s balance sheet for two years and more as an “advance”

....More at Money for nothing: DLF-Vadra ‘alibi’ on land deals is hogwash | Firstpost

 

The IAC activist also hit out at the Congress Party’s continued defence of Vadra saying, that the very fact that they were defending him so vigorously showed that he was guilty. He added, “I’m really sad that Salman Khurshid is saying ‘main Sonia ji ke liye jaan de dunga‘ instead of saying ‘desh ke liye jaan dunga‘

....More at Let Vadra sue me if he wants to, says defiant Kejriwal | Firstpost

 

Defence

Congress party, DLF and Robert Vadra's defence

Union minister Sharad Pawar dared social activist Arvind Kejriwal on Sunday to approach court if he felt that his allegation against Sonia Gandhi‘s son-in-law Robert Vadra had any substance.

....More at Sharad Pawar dares Kejriwal to move court against Robert Vadra | Firstpost

 

The allegations levelled against me by Kejriwal and Bhushan are utterly false, entirely baseless and defamatory”, Vadra said, two days after charges made by the civil society activists at a press conference here created a political storm.

....More at Kejriwal maligning me for cheap publicity: Robert Vadra | Firstpost

The first floor of 268, Sukhdev Vihar, a nondescript white and grey bungalow, houses the headquarters of at least three companies/businesses owned by Robert Vadra, the son-in-law of Congress president Sonia Gandhi. Vadra, who had been renting the premises for seven-odd years, has recently bought the property.

....More at The house from where Vadra's realty magic was spun - Rediff.com India News

 

India's ruling Congress party Saturday rejected demands for an investigation into an alleged property scam involving the son-in-law of the country's most powerful politician, Sonia Gandhi.

....More at India's Congress rejects Gandhi scam charge - The China Post

 

blog comments powered by Disqus
Find me on Facebook
Follow Me