CBI raids Lalu and family files fresh corruption case
The CBI on Friday conducted raids across four cities in connection with a fresh corruption case filed against RJD chief Lalu Prasad Yadav, his wife Rabri Devi, son Tejashwi Yadav and others.
The case, for which Lalu Yadav and his wife and son, who is Bihar deputy chief minister, have been booked, dates back to when he was Union railway minister in the UPA government.
The searches, which started at 7 am and included Rabri Devi's Circular Road residence in Patna, were spread across 12 locations in Patna, Ranchi, Gurgaon and Bhubaneswar. The raids included the premises of the Yadav family as well as those of his confidant Prem Chand Gupta, whose wife Sarla Gupta is listed as an accused in the FIR.
Others named in the FIR include Vijay Kochhar, Vinay Kochhar (both directors of Sujata Hotels), Delight Marketing company, now known as Lara Projects, and then IRCTC managing director P K Goel.
It is alleged that Lalu Yadav as railway minister handed over the maintenance of two railway hotels to a company after receiving a bribe in the form of prime land in Patna through a benami company owned by Sarla Gupta.
The FIR was registered on July 5 in connection with alleged favours extended to Sujata Hotels in awarding a contract for the upkeep of the hotels in Ranchi and Puri and receiving premium land as a "quid pro quo", the CBI has alleged.
Briefing the media on the case, CBI Additional Director Rakesh Asthana said the criminal conspiracy spanned 2004-14 during which the tender process was "rigged" in favour of Sujata Hotels.
"In return, the owners of Sujata Hotel gave three acres of land in western Patna to Delight Marketing which is known to the family of Lalu Yadav at a very low cost. Subsequently, between 2010 to 2014, this land was further transferred to another company Lara Projects owned by family members of Lalu Yadav," he said.
Asthana, second in command in the CBI who had supervised the fodder scam probe in the CBI as DIG in which Lalu Yadav was convicted, said the case was registered under IPC sections related to cheating and criminal conspiracy and provisions of Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988.
Ironically, Lalu Yadav was on Friday in Ranchi to appear in a CBI court in connection with a case related to the multi-crore fodder scam.