The Central Bureau of Investigation has recovered crucial documents from the railway ministry which present irrefutable evidence against RJD chief Lalu Prasad Yadav in the alleged corruption case involving him, his wife Rabri Devi and son Tejaswi Yadav for giving a IRCTC contract to a private company in lieu of a premium piece of land in Patna.
According to the top sources in the agency, the note sheets of the time when Laluwas the Union railway minister, from 2004 to 2009, have been recovered which clearly mention that it was him who ordered giving the contract of maintenance of two railway hotels, BNR Ranchi and Puri, to Sujata Hotels, a company owned by Vinay and Vijay Kochhar. The officers in railway ministry, source said, at the behest of Lalu, mentioned that railway minister has desired giving the contract to Sujata Hotels.
The source said that the tender conditions were tweaked in favour of Sujata Hotels and in return, three acre land in western Patna was given to Delight Marketing (whose promoters are known to family of RJD leader) at a very low cost, and later this land was transferred to another company Lara Projects, a company owned by his family.
CBI officials said that the “note sheets” are a solid piece of evidence against Lalu, who used his position as railway minister to ultimately benefit himself and his family. The source added that they have recovered the documents of transfer of property as well, which proves the “quid pro quo”.
The recovery gives weight to CBI FIR, registered earlier this month and discredits Lalu Yadav’s allegations that there is a political vendetta over CBI raids against him and his family. RJD termed the finding of “notesheet” by the CBI, which indicate direct involvement of Lalu in the alleged anomalies in the bidding process for the two IRCTC hotels completely baseless. “The allegations are completely baseless as IRCTC is an autonomous body and there is no role of railways minister in its dayto-day functioning. These allegations are being levelled as per political conspiracy being hatched by the BJP against lalu- family,” RJD’s Bihar unit chief spokesperson Shakti Singh Yadav told TOIin Patna.
Sources said that they will start questioning people associated with this contract in IRCTC, railway ministry and private persons from next week but Lalu Yadav, Rabri and Tejaswi will be called for questioning after the verification is over.
In its FIR, CBI has named Sarla Gupta, wife of Lalu Yadav’s confidant Prem Chand Gupta, Vijay Kochhar, Vinay Kochhar, both directors of Sujata Hotels and owner of Chanakya Hotel, Delight marketing company, now known as Lara Projects, and the then IRCTC managing director P K Goel besides Yadavs.
It has been alleged that when Lalu Yadav became railway minister in 2004, he entered into a criminal conspiracy with Kochhars and Sarla Gupta and unidentified IRCTC officials to earn “undue pecuniary” advantage for himself.
Vinay Kochhar allegedly sold three acres of premium land in Patna for Rs 1.47 crore to Delight Marketing on February 25, 2005 which was way below circle rate. CBI claimed that Delight Markerting was benami company owned by Sarla acting as front for Lalu Yadav. After sale deed was executed in favour of Delight Marketing, the Railway Board on the same day informed IRCTC about its decision for transfer of BNR hotels to IRCTC on “as is where is basis,” CBI FIR has alleged.
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