September 7, 2017
It is alleged that Lalu Yadav as railway minister handed over the maintenance of two railway hotels to a company after receiving a bribe in the form of prime land in Patna through a benami company.
Edited by Shashank Shantanu
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has summoned Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) chief Lalu Yadav and his son Tejashwi Yadav separately next week in connection with the railways hotel scam. Tejashwi Yadav had rejected the corruption charges and refused to step down as Deputy CM which led to Nitish Kumar walking out of the mahagathbandhan or grand alliance in Bihar in July.
It is alleged that Lalu Yadav as railway minister handed over the maintenance of two railway hotels to a company after receiving a bribe in the form of prime land in Patna through a benami company owned by Sarla Gupta, wife of his close aide Prem Chand Gupta.
The FIR was registered on July 5 in connection with alleged favours extended to Sujata Hotels in awarding a contract for the upkeep of the hotels in Ranchi and Puri and receiving premium land as a “quid pro quo”, the CBI has alleged.
The CBI had in July conducted raids across four cities on properties linked to Lalu and his family.
WHAT IS THE CASE
The roots of the case go back to the 2001 decision of the then NDA government to hand over management of catering services of railway hotels to IRCTC.
When Lalu Yadav became railway minister in 2004, he allegedly entered into a criminal conspiracy with Kochhars (owners of Sujata Hotel) and Sarla Gupta and unidentified IRCTC officials to earn “undue pecuniary” advantage for himself, the CBI FIR claimed.
Vinay Kochhar is alleged to have sold three acres of premium land in Patna for Rs 1.47 crore to Delight Marketing on February 25, 2005 which was way below the circle rate.
Between 2010 and 2014, the ownership of Delight Marketing also changed hands from Sarla Gupta to Lara Projects owned by Rabri Devi and Tejashwi Yadav when Lalu Yadav was no longer minister. By this time, the value of the Patna land had also spiralled to Rs 32.5 crore as per the circle rate, the CBI claimed.