Defence consultant and arms dealer Sanjay Bhandari reportedly confessed to exchanging emails with Robert Vadra. The emails, recovered by the Income Tax department, were in connection with the benami house that Bhandari allegedly bought in London for Sonia Gandhi's son-in-law in 2009.
Sonia Gandhi has denied accusations that Vadra had links with Bhandari and holds property in London, and said it was part of a "conspiracy of Congress-mukt Bharat," the Indian Express reported. She said all the charges against her son-in-law were false and demanded the BJP government to "get a fair inquiry conducted without any bias".
However, the I-T department found an email dated April 4, 2010, in which Bhandari and Vadra discussed the interiors of the London house in Bryanston Square, according to another IE report. Among the several emails recovered by the department, this one had the personal email ID of Vadra.
These emails were recovered during raids conducted at 18 premises belonging to Bhandari. The preliminary reports on the findings indicated that Bhandari exchanged emails not only with Vadra, but also with his assistant Manoj Arora regarding the purchase of the house in London, NDTV reported. The property, 12 Ellerton House at Bryanston Square, was bought for Rs. 19 crore in October 2009 and sold in June 2010.
"There was an email dated 4.04.2010 in which Sumit Chadda reported the progress of work of renovation and repair work to Robert Vadra and asked for reimbursement of expenses," NDTV reported, citing a report on the investigation into the allegations against Vadra. According to the report, which was handed over to the Ministry of Finance, Vadra's reply to the email was, "He would look into the issue" and that Arora will be "in touch."
These claims, NDTV reported, have also been refuted by Vadra's lawyers, who said the businessman "does not own directly or indirectly, any house described by you as No 12, Ellerton House, Bryanston Square, London." Vadra and Arora "have not entered into any transaction of a financial nature with Mr Sanjay Bhandari and are not even aware that Mr Sanjay Bhandari is involved in any defense transaction," they added, according to the report.
Meanwhile, the investigation team of the I-T department has sent seven requests to the British Virgin Islands, United Kingdom, and Dubai, seeking all the available information on the purchase of the London home and other deals handled by Bhandari.