Real Estate Industry is webbed in corruption. There are many unresolved cases of corruption that has faded over the years. The Vadra-DLF case is one such controversial case which is said to be a deceptive case of fraudulence.
Mr. Robert Vadra is an Indian businessman and also the husband of Priyanka Gandhi and son-in-law of Congress chief, Sonia Gandhi. In 2012, he was accused of receiving interest free loans from the Real Estate giant, DLF Universal. His company Skylight Hospitality has been accused of purchasing 3.5 acres of land from Onkareshwar Properties for 7.5 Cr, by showing a fictitious check in 2008. DLF Universal is believed to have given interest free loan of 58 Cr to Skylight Hospital in installments which were utilized for the payment to Onkareshwar Properties.
A report of IAS officer, Ashok Khemka states that Robert Vadra presented a false check to get the legal title of the 3.5 acre land he purchased from Onkareshwar Properties for 15.38 Cr (of which 7.94 Cr were said to have received as overdraft from Corporation Bank). At the time of purchase, Skylight Hospitality had only Rs. 1 lakh in its account, which was not sufficient for the payment. Mr. Vadra. In its balance sheet of 2008, the company had wrongly shown Rs. 7.94 Cr as overdraft, which is illegal because no payment had been made to Onkareshwar Properties until then. Even the Corporation bank denied giving any such overdraft to Vadra. It quite proved that Vadra made a false representation in his Balance Sheet. Haryana govt. permitted Mr. Vadra to begin a housing project on the land just a month later it was bought due to which the price of the property dubiously increased in 3 years so much that DLF agreed to buy it for 58 Cr. Mr. Varda sold the land to DLF for 58 Cr and began receiving payment in installments and used the amount of these installments to pay Onkareshwar Properties.
DLF was also accused for giving interest free loans to Robert in return for political favors. DLF, however stated that it did not forward any such loans to Robert and just made installments against the land Robert sold them for 58 Cr.
Vadra’s notorious dealings were commonly discussed in the banking circle and every one was aware of it. However, a firm initiative had not been taken by anyone to highlight those dealings until the India Against Corruption (IAC) dauntlessly took the initiative of revealing the concerned documents and making the whole act a controversy. The head of IAC, Arvind Kejriwal and supreme court lawyer, Prashant Bhushan also alleged that Vadra and DLF shared a symbiotic relation where DLF offers land at cheap rates to Vadra, in return for the political favors received by him. They strengthened their allegation with the fact that Robert Vadra made Rs 300 Cr from 50 lakhs in just three years and that he held around 31 mostly in Delhi and Haryana, where the Congress was ruling. Bhushan further mentioned that the total share capital of five companies help by Vadra was only 50 lakhs as per the company balance sheets. So, the question was how did Robert manage to cover the gap between 50 lakhs and 3 Cr in just three years without having invested congress’s black money!?
BJP national spokesman, Prakash Javadekar reported that DLF itself had a loan of 22,000 Cr and was paying interest at 15%, while it managed to grant 65 Cr of interest free loan to Vadra! Former CM of Haryana raised a question on land purchased by Vadra in Haryana. He had purchased 29 acres of land in Mewat worth Rs. 14 Cr, only for Rs. 71 lakh!
Arvind Kejriwal accused even the Haryana Government for favoring DLF in participating in illegal transactions. He presented documents to prove that Haryana govt. gave 350 acres of land to DLF, cancelled the acquisition of DLF land in Manesar and increased the floor area rate in favor of DLF.
The entire scam beget a political agitation which turned into war of words between BJP and Congress where each tried to prove the other wrong. Congress dismissed all these allegations by calling them “wild and unfair” and said that this is not just an attack on an individual, but on the entire ruling party. Hindu reported that Vadra’s property documents revealed no illegal transactions. According to legal experts like Ram Jethmalani and Rajeev Dhawan, Vadra could not be booked under the prevention of corruption act, since he wasn’t a public servant. While some reports conveyed that Kejriwal is propelling undue blames on the Congress govt for political reasons, others criticize Vadra, DLF and Haryana govt. for having committed a fraud.
Vadra updated a facebook status, “ Mango people in banana republic” targeting Kejriwal’s political party, IAC. Vadra was referred to as Country’s Premier son in law and FDI- First Damad of India. Congress counter attacked Prashant Bhushan and his father by airing their land deals in Himachal Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh.
The effects of this controversy came in the form of a fall in sensex by 1.21% when the DLF shares fell 7.24% to Rs 224.25. Ashok Khemka cancelled the 3.5 acre land deal, preventing the DLF to be an owner of the land. Mr. Vadra is suspected of showing the value of properties lower than their actual values, to evade taxes and Ashok Khemka has ordered to investigate into Vadra’s properties in Haryana. Despite being transferred as Haryana’s Director General of Land Consolidation and Land Records-cum- Inspector –General of Registration, three days after Ashok Khemka commissioned the Vadra case, he continued to dig into the case to restore the confidence of people in public offices. Allegations made by Arvind Kejriwal encouraged Ashok Khemka to bring the real picture out, whether it is in favor or against Robert Vadra.