IRCTC case: Charges filed against Lalu

Wife Rabri and son Te­jashwi also named

The Asian Age - - Front Page - PRAMOD KUMAR AND NAYEAR AZAD

The CBI on Mon­day filed a charge sheet against former rail­way min­is­ter Lalu Prasad, wife Rabri Devi, their son Te­jashwi and oth­ers in con­nec­tion with the al­leged cor­rup­tion in award­ing ten­ders for de­vel­op­ment, main­te­nance and op­er­a­tion of Rail­way ho­tels at Ranchi and Puri to a pri­vate firm when the RJD chief was the Union rail­way min­is­ter.

The CBI on Mon­day filed a charge sheet against former rail­way min­is­ter Lalu Prasad and oth­ers in con­nec­tion with the al­leged cor­rup­tion com­mit­ted in award­ing ten­ders for de­vel­op­ment, main­te­nance and op­er­a­tion of Rail­way ho­tels at Ranchi and Puri to a pri­vate firm when the RJD chief was the union rail­way min­is­ter. Former Bi­har chief min­is­ter and Lalu Prasad's wife Rabri Devi, and their son Te­jashwi were also among the 14 peo­ple named by the CBI in the chargesheet filed in a Delhi court here. The agency had re­cently ques­tioned Rabri Devi in con­nec­tion with the case.

The de­vel­op­ment is be­ing seen as a ma­jor set­back for Te­jashwi Ya­dav who has been busy chalk­ing out plans for the com­ing 2019 gen­eral elec­tions.

"Those who have been named in the chargesheet in­clude Lalu Prasad, Rabri Devi, Te­jaswi, close con­fi­dant of RJD chief and former union Min­is­ter Prem Chand Gupta, his wife Sarla Gupta, Su­jata Ho­tels, its own­ers Vi­nay and Vijay Kochhar, LARA pro­jects, then Man­ag­ing Di­rec­tor ( IRCTC) P K Goel, then Di­rec­tor Rakesh Sax­ena and then Group Gen­eral Man­ager B K Agar­wal of IRCTC. Agar­wal is cur­rently ad­di­tional mem­ber, Rail­way Board", sources said. Then, IRCTC GGMs R K Go­gia ( com­pany sec­re­tary) and V K Asthana have also been named as ac­cused in the chargesheet.

The case pertains to al­le­ga­tions that Lalu Prasad, as rail­way min­is­ter, handed over the main­te­nance of two ho­tels run by the In­dian Rail­way Cater­ing and Tourism Cor­po­ra­tion

( IRCTC), a sub­sidiary of the In­dian Rail­ways, in Ranchi and Puri to Su­jata Ho­tels, a com­pany owned by Vi­nay and Vijay Kochhar, in re­turn for a prime plot of three acres in Patna through a be­nami com­pany. The CBI's FIR al­leged that the RJD leader abused his of­fi­cial po­si­tion for ex­tend­ing un­due favours to the Kochhars and ac­quired a piece of "high value pre­mium land" through the be­nami firm, De­light Mar­ket­ing Com­pany.

As a quid pro quo, he "dis­hon­estly and fraud­u­lently" awarded the con­tract to them for the two ho­tels, the FIR had al­leged. Af­ter the ten­der was awarded to Su­jata Ho­tels, the own­er­ship of De­light Mar­ket­ing Com­pany also changed hands from Sarla Gupta to Rabri Devi and Te­jashwi Ya­dav be­tween 2010 and 2014. By this time, Lalu Prasad had re­signed as rail­way min­is­ter.

The RJD has launched fresh rounds of at­tacks on the BJP af­ter the CBI filed chargesheet against Lalu Ya­dav and oth­ers.

Lalu Prasad Ya­dav

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