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Published On: Fri, Jul 7th, 2017

Lalu Yadav and family on CBI raids: It’s a political conspiracy Says Lalu

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New Delhi: Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) leader Lalu Prasad Yadav speaks to reporters after a meeting with Samajwadi Party (SP) leader Mulayam Singh Yadav in New Delhi on Friday. The leaders reportedly met to sort out seat sharing issues ahead of the Bihar state elections, expected later this year. PTI Photo (PTI5_22_2015_000098B)

New Delhi: Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) leader Lalu Prasad Yadav speaks to reporters after a meeting with Samajwadi Party (SP) leader Mulayam Singh Yadav in New Delhi on Friday. The leaders reportedly met to sort out seat sharing issues ahead of the Bihar state elections, expected later this year. PTI Photo (PTI5_22_2015_000098B)

NEW DELHI/ PATNa/ RANCHI  : The CBI has registered a case against Rashtriya Janata Dal chief Lalu Prasad, his wife Rabri Devi, son Tejaswi Yadav and some others on the charge of corruption in awarding contracts for maintenance of hotels.
Mr Yadav has been accused of facilitating a contract to a private company to run hotels when he was the country’s Railways Minister in 2006, in exchange for a three-acre plot in Patna, where a mall is being built.

The CBI alleges that the Patna land’s sale was arranged the same day a 15-year lease was given to an entrepreneur named Harsh Kocchar to run two hotels for the railways in Puri and Ranchi.
Mr Kocchar sold the land to a company owned by the wife of an MP from Mr Yadav’s party named Prem Kumar Gupta. Later, the land was transferred to Mr Yadav’s wife and sons.

“We found a lot of irregularities and manipulations. Conditions were tweaked to help a private party,” said CBI officer Rajesh Asthana. The charges listed against the former Chief Minister include criminal conspiracy and cheating.
The land was severely undervalued during the transfer, said the CBI. “The cost of the land was 32 crores but it was transferred to the family members of Lalu Yadav for a nominal amount of Rs. 64 lakh,” said Mr Asthana.
Sarla Gupta, wife of Mr. Prasad’s associate Prem Chand Gupta (Rajya Sabha member); Vijay Kochhar and Vinay Kochhar, who were directors of Sujata Hotels Pvt. Limited; Delight Marketing and former IRCTC managing director P.K. Goel have also been named in the FIR. The CBI is conducting searches at over a dozen locations in Delhi, Gurugram, Patna, Ranchi and Puri.

The CBI has alleged corruption in the award of a tender for development, maintenance and operation of BNR Heritage Hotels in Ranchi and Puri to Sujata Hotels in 2006. The accused have been booked under IPC sections 420 and 120-B read with 13 (2) with 13 1d of the Prevention of Corruption Act.

The CBI claims that a conspiracy was hatched between 2004 and 2014, as per which BNR Hotels in Puri and Ranchi were transferred to IRCTC, and for their management, a tender was later floated. It is alleged that the conditions of the tender were tweaked to ensure that it went to the Patna based Sujata Hotels.

In lieu of the alleged favour, three acres in Patna were given to Delight Marketing, purportedly a front company linked to Mr. Prasad, at just Rs.1.47 crore, against the circle rate of Rs.1.9 crore.

The land, then worth Rs. 32 crore as per circle rate, and of Rs. 94 crore in market value, was transferred to LaRa Projects, in which Mr. Tejaswi Yadav allegedly has interests, for about Rs. 65 lakh through transfer of shares. The CBI has registered the case on the basis of a complaint about a month ago. Ten plots are under investigation.
The CBI move comes weeks after the Income Tax Department carried out searches against Mr. Prasad, his family members and associates, and attached several properties under the newly enacted anti-benami assets law.
The Enforcement Directorate(ED) , which has powers to register money laundering cases based on CBI FIRs, is currently probing the assets of some close relatives of Mr. Prasad in connection with alleged use of shell companies to launder funds.

Meanwhile, Terming CBI’s raids as a political conspiracy, Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) chief Lalu Prasad Yadav on Friday said that everything was done according to the system and he has not done anything wrong.
Soon after coming out of the Ranchi Court after his appearance in the fodder case scam, the RJD chief addressed media and hit out at ruling BJP and PM Modi over the CBI raids and said that neither he nor his party will cowed down with these dirty tactics.

“No one is aware what CBI raids are for. Even Media was not aware when this raid was conducted and FIR registered. We are preparing to show the exit door to PM Modi and BJP.

We will organise a rally and tell people that I and my children are being attacked under a political vendetta,”Yadav said. Accusing CBI of working at the behest of Modi government, Lalu said, “I told my wife and children to make CBI officials comfortable. It is not their fault.”
All this has come in the wake of me and my party amalgamating all other opposition parties of similar mentality to unite and oust the Narendra Modi government. They want to break us down and make us kneel down in front of BJP. My rivals want to send me to jail, they want me to surrender in front of BJP and RSS,”Lalu alleged.

CBI files case against Lalu in IRCTC tender case.In the same year, the hotels were transferred to the IRCTC. Lalu Prasad was the Railways Minister between 2004-09.Will Nitish snap ties with RJD in Bihar?
Earlier in the day, the CBI carried out raids at the residences of RJD chief Lalu Prasad and his family members in connection with a new case of alleged irregularities in awarding the tender for the maintenance of hotels. According to a CBIofficial, the raids were also being carried out at the residence of his younger son and Deputy Chief Minister Tejaswi Yadav at Patna,
Centre, BJP have no role in CBI raids on Lalu Yadav and his family said Union Minister Venkaiah Naidu.
(With inputs from agencies)


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