CBI files chargesheet against Lalu Prasad in IRCTC case
Corruption alleged in awarding contracts for IRCTC hotels
The Central Bureau of Investigation on Monday filed a chargesheet against former Railway Minister Lalu Prasad, his wife Rabri Devi and son Tejaswi, besides 11 others, for alleged corruption in giving maintenance contracts for two IRCTC hotels to a Patna-based company.
The agency said it has arraigned 14 people in the chargesheet, including the eight already named in the FIR registered last July.
Among those chargesheeted are Mr. Prasad’s close confidant and Rajya Sabha MP Prem Chand Gupta, his wife Sarla Gupta, Patnabased Sujata Hotels, its then directors Vinay and Vijay Kochhar and LARA projects.
From the IRCTC, the then managing director P.K. Goel, director Rakesh Saxena and then group general managers B.K. Agarwal, R.K. Gogia (company secretary) and V. K. Asthana have also been made accused. Mr. Agarwal is currently an additional member in the railway board.
The chargesheet was filed before a Delhi special court about a week after the CBI recorded Rabri Devi’s statement in Patna.
“All the accused have been examined. Further investigations are under way and more chargesheets may be filed later,” said a CBI official.
The agency has alleged that the maintenance contracts for two IRCTC hotels in Ranchi and Puri were awarded to Sujata Hotels by tweaking conditions. Mr. Prasad was
then the Railway Minister. “Sujata Hotels was initially not eligible to bid for the contracts. However, the contract conditions were later altered to accommodate it,” the official said. It is alleged that the contracts were awarded in lieu of about three-acre commercial property in Patna.
Legal tangle: A file photo of Lalu Prasad during the hearing of a fodder scam case in a CBI court in Ranchi.