How CBI came to raid Lalu Prasad’s properties over land-for-hotels deal | india-news | Hindustan Times
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How CBI came to raid Lalu Prasad’s properties over land-for-hotels deal

The CBI raids were carried out at 12 locations in five cities a day after the CBI filed cases against Lalu Prasad and others related to him.

india Updated: Jul 07, 2017 13:06 IST
Appu Esthose Suresh
Lalu Prasad arrives at a special CBI court in Ranchi.
Lalu Prasad arrives at a special CBI court in Ranchi.(PTI File Photo)

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) searched the homes and properties of former railway minister Lalu Prasad and his family on Friday as part of investigations into alleged misconduct in giving out contracts for the maintenance of railway hotels.

The raids were carried out at 12 locations in five cities a day after the CBI filed cases against Lalu, his wife Rabri Devi and son and deputy Bihar chief minister Tejashwi, among others.

Read | I-T department slaps benami transaction charges against Lalu’s family

The CBI is examining possible irregularities in the awarding of contracts to private firms to operate railway hotels, including two BNR hotels in Ranchi and Puri, and whether Lalu and his family benefitted from it.

The CBI alleges that the Indian Railways under Lalu Prasad awarded contracts to run the BNR hotels to a company called Sujata Hotels, which then transferred two acres of prime land in Patna to family members of Lalu through an intermediary company called Delight Marketing. The land changed hands at a rate far below the market price.

Here is a timeline of events leading up to Friday’s raids:

18.9.2001: Railway board decides to transfer complete management of catering services, including railway hotels, to IRCTC

9.3.2004: Indian Railways signs memorandum of understanding with IRCTC detailing the modalities of transfer of management of static and mobile catering to IRCTC

May 2004: Lalu Prasad becomes railway minister

Read | From fodder scam to properties: Lalu Prasad and his family are caught in a web of trouble

31.8.2004: Chairman of railway board tells railway board that “only catering managed by private contractors pertaining to pantry, refreshment room should be transferred to IRCTC and department catering shall continue to remain with railway at present”

30.11.2004: Secretary of railway board informs Yadav about the taking over of existing railway hotels in Ranchi and Puri by IRCTC

25.02.2005: Railways informs IRCTC about the transfer of BNR hotels to IRCTC. The same day land owned by Harsh Kochhar and Vijay Kochhar of Sujatha Hotels sold to Delight Marketing Company for Rs1.47Cr, less than the prevailing market rate

25.08.2005: Secretary of railway board sends to Lalu minutes of the board meeting related to transfer of hotels in Ranchi and Puri

10.7.2006: Director IRCTC moves proposal for development of BNR hotels through Private- Public Partnership

03.11.2006: Advertisement seeking bids from private contractors published

13.11.2006: Director IRCTC amends the eligibility condition. The amendment allows Sujatha Hotels to bid for contract

Read | Benami land deals: Lalu’s daughter Misa Bharti quizzed by IT officials for 5 hours

15.11.2006: Fresh advertisements issued based on amended eligibility

27.12.2006: Sujata Hotels win contract for the two railways (BNR) hotels in Ranchi and Puri

May 2010 - February 2014: Delight Marketing Company controlled by Sarla Gupta begins gradual transfer of land to Lalu’s wife Rabri Devi and son Tejashwi

05 July 2017: The CBI files Regular Case