CBI charges Lalu, Rabri and 11 others in IRCTC case

Remigio Civitarese
Aprile 17, 2018

Monday charges against the Yadav family came almost a week after the CBI grilled former Chief Minister Rabri Devi at her home in Patna and recorded her statement.

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has filed chargesheet against former Railway Minister Lalu Prasad Yadav, his wife Rabri Devi, son Tejaswi Yadav and 11 others in connection with the IRCTC Scam.

The CBI had registered a case in July past year and carried out searches at 12 locations in Patna, Ranchi, Bhubaneswar, and Gurugram in connection with the case. These note-sheets, statements of Lalu, Rabri Devi and Tejashwi, railway and IRCTC officials and private persons have been included in the chargesheet. They include Prasad, Ms. Devi and Mr, Tejaswi, close confidant Prem Chand Gupta, his wife Sarla Gupta, Sujata Hotels, its owners Vinay and Vijay Kochhar, LARA projects, then Managing Director P.K. Goel, then Director Rakesh Saxena and then Group General Manager B.K. Agarwal of IRCTC.

The agency has accused Lalu Prasad of abusing his role as railway minister in the UPA government to award the contract for running two railway hotels -BNR Ranchi and BNR Puri - to Sujata Hotels in exchange for a plot of prime land in Patna. In 2001, a decision was taken to handover management of catering services of Indian Railways, including of its hotels, to IRCTC.

After Lalu Prasad's family members took over the company between 2010 and 2014, it was renamed LARA Projects and converted into a limited liability partnership firm, the agency said. This was done to sub-lease the rights of two railway hotels at Puri and Ranchi to Sujata Hotels, the CBI claimed.

On February 25, 2005, Kochars sold commercial property measuring 3 acres to Delight Marketing for Rs 1.47 crore. Delight Markerting, CBI says, was a benami company owned by Sarla who acted as a front for Lalu. The BNR hotels were transferred to Sujata Hotels through a rigged and manipulated tender process managed by P K Goel, the then MD IRCTC, the CBI alleged. By this time, Lalu Prasad had resigned as railway minister.

It surfaced that while over 15 bid documents were received for both the hotels, IRCTC has no records of bidders other than Sujata Hotels.

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