Records accessed by Firstpost from London's land registry department reveal that Robert Vadra is not even remotely linked with 12, Ellerton House, 11 Bryanston Square, London, a property purportedly bought by the Congress president's son-in-law through a proxy.
According to official documents, the flat no 12 in Ellerton House, located in Central London is owned by Harold and Shirley Sacks, not by any company allegedly fronting for Vadra.
The current owners had bought this flat for 9,50,000 GBP on 23 September, 2005, documents reveal. Since then, the property has not changed hands.
On Tuesday, NDTV had reported that the government was probing allegations that Vadra had purchased the property through Sanjay Bhandari for 19 lakh GBP in 2009 and then sold it a year later.
According to NDTV, the investigation was based on two reports by investigating agencies based on e-mails allegedly sent by Vadra and his executive assistant Manoj Arora to Bhandari.
Vadra's lawyer had denied the allegation saying their client had nothing to directly or indirectly with 12, Ellerton House.
On Wednesday, The Indian Express reported that Bhandari had admitted to the alleged e-mails exchange between him and Vadra. "...the property in question (located in Bryanston Square, thus several of the emails are titled BS) was registered with the Westminster City Council in the name of Mayfair Properties, a company based in Dubai and thus a reference has been sent to Dubai via the Double Taxation Agreement (DTA) for details of its ownership," the newspaper said, quoting sources.
"According to information with the Department, the property was bought in 2009 from a company called Vertex FZE which is registered in the British Virgin Islands. ...Sources said the transaction for the sale of the London property was done with a branch of Barclays Bank in London acting as the custodian...," The Indian Express said.
But, official records, updated till Wednesday (1 June, 2016) contradict allegations that the property in question was purchased by Vadra through arms dealer Sanjay Bhandari in 2009 or by Mayfair Properties through Vertex FZE .
Websites of several independent realtors and agents, apart from official land registry records, also conclusively suggest that the ownership hasn't changed since 2005. The charge against Vadra, available information suggests, is false and baseless.
When the BJP had sought a clarification from the Congress on the alleged benaami transaction, Sonia Gandhi had labeled it a controversy. "Get an independent enquiry done, doodh ka doodh, paani ka paani ho jayega," Gandhi had dared the government.
12, Ellerton House is an imposing building in the middle of London. Though conveniently located, it is not considered a posh area since most of the inhabitants are of migrant origin. By London's standards, it is moderately priced and isn't on the priority list of city A-graders.
According to Zoopla.com, a London-based website that tracks the real estate market, its current market worth is estimated at 2,524,000 GBP, a pittance compared to the posh addresses preferred by London's elite with deep pockets.
"Bryanston Square is definitely upmarket but not the kind of place where the Gandhis would have preferred like to live. The closest Tube stations are Edgware Road and Marble Arch. Edgware road is a huge security risk it has lot of Arab/Muslim businesses , making it impossible to check the backgrounds of people in the neighbourhood. It is a high-risk environment for a Z-security family," sources told Firstpost.