Lalu, son Tejashwi seek more time from CBI

The agency had summoned Lalu to join the probe at the agency headquarters on September 11 and Tejashwi the next day

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Lalu, son Tejashwi seek more time from CBI
Lalu Prasad Yadav


Rashtriya Janata Dal chief and former Railway Minister Lalu Prasad Yadav and his son, Tejashwi, Yadav, accused in an alleged corruption case linked to a grant of tenders for the maintenance of Bengal Nagpur Railway (BNR) hotels to Sujata Hotels, have sought more time from the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) for joining the probe.

Sources in the agency said both — father and son — have sought more time, citing reasons of prescheduled engagements. The agency had summoned Lalu to join the probe at the agency headquarters on September 11 and Tejashwi the next day.

Before issuing summons to them, the CBI had grilled Sarala Gupta and her husband (Lalu's confidante), a sitting Rajya Sabha member Prem Chand Gupta, and Vijay Kochhar and Vinay Kochhar, both directors of Sujata Hotels and owner of Panchari Hotel.

The agency has alleged that Lalu', as Railway Minister, handed over maintenance of two Railway hotels, BNR Ranchi and Puri, to Sujata Hotel after receiving a bribe in the form of prime land of three acres through a benami company in 2006.

The investigating agency has registered a case against Lalu, his wife Rabri, his son and deputy chief minister of Bihar, Tejashwi Prasad Yadav, Prem Chand Gupta and his wife Salra Gupta. Others named as accused in the FIR include Vijay Kochhar, Vinay Kochhar, Delight marketing company, now known as Lara Projects, and several others, unknown persons.

It is alleged that between 2004 and 2014, a conspiracy was hatched in pursuance of which BNR hotels of Indian Railways located at Puri and Ranchi were first transferred to the IRCTC and later on for its operations, maintenance and upkeep, it was given on lease to a private firm Sujata Hotel Pvt Ltd based in Patna.

The case was registered on July 5 after carrying out a preliminary inquiry.

The allegation is that during this process, tender process was rigged and manipulated and the conditions were tweaked to help the private party (Sujata Hotel). In return, three acre land in Western Patna was given to Delight Marketing which is known to the family of Lalu Yadav at a very low cost and subsequently between the period 2010 to 2014, this land was further transferred to another company Lara Projects owned by family members of Lalu Yadav. The transfer of land also took place at a very low price. Whereas the land was valued at 32 crore as per the circle rate, it was transferred to merely 65 lakh to Lara Projects.

A copy of the FIR it is alleged that Lalu entered into criminal conspiracy with owners of Sujata hotels, Sarla Gupta, wife of his close associate Prem Chand Gupta (an RJD MP in Rajya Sabha) and IRCTC officials for "undue pecuniary advantage to himself and others".

Enforcement Directorate has also registered a case of money laundering into the matter. It is alleged that Vinay Kochhar on February 25, 2005, sold commercial property in the form of three acres of land in Patna through 10 sale-deeds for Rs 1.47 crore to Delight marketing in which Sarla Gupta was a director as a front benami holder on behalf of Lalu.

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