Delhi: An Intelligence Bureau (IB) report of 2011 shows that arms dealer Sanjay Bhandari was in regular touch with Congress president Sonia Gandhi's son-in-law Robert Vadra.
According to a report accessed by India Today, he was also in touch with a cross-section of politicians.
The IB report was reportedly prepared after Bhandari's name cropped up in connection with the deal to purchase Basic Jet Trainers (BTAs) for the Indian Air Force.
He is said to have set up Offsets India Solutions (OIS) in 2008 to supposedly to benefit from Defence Ministry's policy.
The policy was to enable domestic industry to gain from big-ticket arms contract spin-offs.
As per the IB report, OIS was only a front for Bhandari to lobby for defence deals.
The intelligence report said that multiple calls were made from Bhandari's mobile to a number registered in the name of Vadra's company Blue Bridge Trading Private Limited.
Bhandari was arrested on August 30, 2005 on charges of evading taxes on imported luxury cars and in 2010, he came under IB's radar as a lobbyist for Pilatus.
As per the report, the company had allegedly engaged him to push the sale of 75 PC7 BTAs to IAF.
Call Detail Records (CDRs) of Bhandari's number for six months showed that Vadra was among the people with whom the arms dealer was in regular touch. As per the IB report, multiple calls were made from Bhandari's mobile to a number registered in the name of Vadra's company Blue Bridge Trading Private Limited. This number was being used by Vadra.
Moreover, as of now also, the Ministry of Corporate Affairs website shows Vadra and his mother Maureen Vadra as the directors of Blue Bridge Trading.
Yesterday, Sonia had hit back at the government on the charges against Vadra saying it was a part of a conspiracy of levelling false allegations in its bid for a 'Congress- free' India.
She had dared the government to order an impartial probe if there was something in which she said the truth would come out.
On a visit to her parliamentary constituency, Gandhi was asked by newsmen on reports citing a probe by Income Tax department into transactions of the arms dealer (Bhandari) and his links with Vadra, especially with regard to ownership of a house in central London.
"This is a conspiracy for Congress-free country. What is the meaning of Congress-free India. Everyday they make new excuses. They level false charges. If there is something, then there should be an impartial probe. Everything will become clear," she had said, as per PTI.
News reports yesterday had quoted from purported papers seized by the IT department during searches last month on the arms dealer's premises that allegedly led to a trail of emails between Vadra and his assistant on the one hand and the dealer's aide on the other regarding the purchase of a London house for approximately Rs 19 crore in 2009 which was subsequently said to have been sold.
Vadra's legal firm have denied that he owned the London property directly or indirectly.
It also denied that Vadra has any business ties with Bhandari or his aide.
(With Agency inputs)